The 2015 Oscars Will Finally Honor Straight White Men

Ah, remember those socially progressive awards show days of yore? All the way back five days ago when the Golden Globes were all about feminism, trans visibility, and shining light on the very real truth that Selma is now? We were moving forward! Hollywood was being a part of the change we want to see in the world! Oh, they were good times. Here to burst your bubble, though, are the nominees for the 87th annual Academy Awards. Guess how many people of color were nominated for acting awards? Go on, guess.

If you guessed zero, you are correct.

Guess how many women were nominated for directing Oscars.

Yep, zero!

Guess how many women were nominated for writing Oscars?

You’re correct again! Zero!

Much like midterm elections, the 2015 Academy Awards will finally shine a light on that long oppressed and often overlooked minority group: Straight white men. Well, except for Tegan and Sara, who were nominated for “Everything Is Awesome,” their song from The Lego Movie. And Selma, which got a nod for best picture and best song. That’s something, I guess, but it’s not even close to enough.

The problem, of course, isn’t just that women and people of color were overlooked by the Academy; it’s that there is still a dearth of opportunities for women and people of color in Hollywood. Lupita Nyong’o and Steve McQueen‘s wins were the exception, not the rule.

Here’s a list of nominees in the major categories.

Best Picture
American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

Best Director
Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman)
Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher)
Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game)

Best Actor
Steve Carell (Foxcatcher)
Bradley Cooper (American Sniper)
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)
Michael Keaton (Birdman)
Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)

Best Actress
Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night)
Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything)
Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
Reese Witherspoon (Wild)

Best Supporting Actor
Robert Duvall (The Judge)
Ethan Hawke (Boyhood)
Edward Norton (Birdman)
Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)
JK Simmons (Whiplash)

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
Laura Dern (Wild)
Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game)
Emma Stone (Birdman)
Meryl Streep (Into the Woods)

Adapted Screenplay
Jason Hall (American Sniper)
Graham Moore (The Imitation Game)
Paul Thomas Anderson (Inherent Vice)
Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything)
Damien Chazelle (Whiplash)

Original Screenplay
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr, Armando Bo (Birdman)
Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
E Max Frye and Dan Futterman (Foxcatcher)
Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Tony Gilroy (Nightcrawler)

Animated Feature
Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Best Foreign Language Film
Wild Tales

Original Song
‘Everything is Awesome’ (The Lego Movie)
‘Glory’ (Selma)
‘Grateful’ (Beyond the Lights)
‘I’m Not Gonna Miss You’ (Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me)
‘Lost Stars’ (Begin Again)

#OscarsSoWhite is a thing that’s trending right now. It’s beautiful.

Maybe I’ll just rewatch The Golden Globes on Oscar night. Or Orange Is the New Black for the one hundredth time.

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1718 articles for us.


  1. THIS MADE GETTING UP EARLY TO HEAR THESE NOMINATIONS WORTH IT. I wish I could just nom some of these bad noms away #goingbacktobed #didanythingIsaymakesense #loveyouASbye

  2. I love the OscarsSoWhite tag, but definitely hate that it’s necessary /:

    I can’t wait to see Selma. And I just watched Dear White People, it was good! But I know it’s an indie film.

  3. There is one silver lining to all of this straight white male self-congratulatory BS: Tegan and Sara will hopefully perform at the Oscars!!

  4. Bah! I don’t understand the hype around Boyhood. It was mediocre at best and had falling action that took an HOUR to wrap up. Plus there’s a really uncomfortable moment of white-saviorhood in it.
    It doesn’t deserve to take up space!!!

    • As a person that likes films, I appreciate the way it was created. It took guts to even attempt that kind of composition and I appreciate filmmakers that go the extra mile. However, the film itself missed me completely. Its like a mediocre, white boy, circle jerk.It must suck to spend 12 years making a movie and end up with that mess.

      • Yeah, I read one criticism of Boyhood that put it perfectly: “The execution and general concept of the film was more interesting than it’s ultimate dissatisfaction’s.”Bah!!

  5. Oh, baby, baby, it’s a fucking straight white men world, it’s hard to get by just upon a smile.. (especially if the Oscars voters are 94% white, 74% men, with an average age of 63).

  6. But Hollywood did so well with the Golden Globes? I don’t understand. It’s quite actually like King President of Hollywood gathered his secret straight white man coalition and said, “we’ll let women host that other awards show, see. and give awards willy nilly to all them yelling people AND POOF THEY ARE DISTRACTED WE WILL HAVE THE BEST PRIZE OF ALL TO OURSELVES YES how brilliant,” twirling his moustache

    • Different organizations. Golden Globes are the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and the Academy Awards are the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. I don’t know exact numbers, but I’d assume there’s a lot of overlap with enough differences to make the Globes smarter (never thought I’d say that sentence).

      • There really shouldn’t be any overlap at all — HFP is ONLY press and the Academy is ONLY film professionals.

  7. The #OscarsSoWhite is comedy gold. My favorite:

    #OscarsSoWhite it wanted to touch my hair.

    I think I had a laugh induced blackout because one must laugh through the pain.

    Plus Ruby Rose in the upcoming season of OITNB, yeeeeeeeees!

  8. The Globes were still a bit too white for me (particularly the absurd non-win of a certain lady named Davis), but at least they were a jillion times better for women and LGBT wins. It’s pretty sad that awards decided by ACTUAL Hollywood folks (you know, the ones who consider themselves so important and progressive and open-minded and ARTISTES) abide zero diversity, and the more inclusive awards are decided by a bunch of press people who cover American entertainment for OTHER COUNTRIES.

    (Sorry for the all-caps yelling, I don’t understand how to italicize on here!)

    In related news, Boyhood was… fine? I don’t get all the praise. It wasn’t a bad movie or anything, but I’m still not seeing what was so phenomenal about it. (And it sure as hell wasn’t better than Selma.)

  9. And all of THIS is why I basically only watch television now. Got a free two hours to kill? Watch two episodes of a TV show. Going over to a friend’s house on a Friday night? We’re going to order pizza and figure out which TV shows we both want to watch.

    TV is the new film, ya’ll. It’s become way more interesting, innovative, and diverse.

    (Not that TV doesn’t also have a long way to go, but it doing better than film, anyway.

    • Agreed. I re-discovered so many TV because I just can’t stand a lot of the mainstream movies and avoid watching them.

  10. The problem is that movies are still primarily being made by white people, they are the majority of the industry by a long shot, hence most movies that the voters receive have white people and are made by white people. Are you saying the voters are racist for not picking selma in the actor category? im pretty sure they just thought the other actors were better. you cant pick someone because they are black or gay, i dont think its fair to blame the oscars (even though their voting system is shit)

    the problem must be that there arent enough minorities in the industry. selma was a good film for sure, directed well, acted well, but it wasnt “snubbed” because they dont like black people or stories. they genuinely believed those other directors were better, other actors were better. if you think selmas story is most important thats fine and probably true, but thats different from rating the quality of someones performance or capabilities/technique in directing.

    the greatest american director working today didnt receive a nomination, either.

    • I don’t trust anyone that seriously says “minorities”.

      Aldo, why do you think there aren’t as many “minorities” creating films, starring in movies (other than slaves), directing, writing, editing,etc.? Its not because they have no interest.

    • I am so tired of the “Well, maybe white people were just better” excuse.

      And there are no shortage of talented minorities in the industry. It’s just that they have to fight for every opportunity they do get because nobody is hiring them. It’s not that white actors were “just better” or their is a shortage of people of color. It’s that people of color can barely get their foot in the door. And why do you think that is?

      • Seriously, anyone who honestly thinks personal bias doesn’t play into the individual voting decisions of an academy made up mostly of old white men HAS to be deliberately disingenuous, right?

        Especially when you consider the fact that the primary criticism over the (widely praised) Selma was that it made LBJ look bad. So the issue was that there was no white savior in the movie. (Case in point: the Academy freaking SHOWERED the far inferior The Help with nominations a couple years back.)

        The point stands that there needs to be more diversity in film, but it’s just not accurate to pretend there’s nothing award-worthy already out there this year.

    • Who is “the greatest American director working today”? and did they get a ribbon or something? I didn’t know there was consensus about this! Did anyone other than straight white men get to weigh in?

    • It’s not racism, it’s just that there aren’t any popular non-white people in the entertainment industry!

      I also wonder when I see comments like this, who are these people who post this sort of comment on websites they’re invariably seeing for the first time? Are they sitting at home, googling “racist oscars”, and making sure they can post on every website that even touches on the idea that racist bias might be a factor? What’s in it for them? What do they gain from suppressing critiques of racism online, and why is it so important to them to do so?

  11. So Selma gets nominated for Best Picture but no Best Director nomination? And nothing for any of the actors? You cannot tell me that the actors in that movie gave mediocre performances compared to the ones who did get nominated because I won’t believe it. Absolutely ridiculous. I guess the Academy was just like “Well, we patted ourselves on the back for not being racist last year when Lupita won for 12 Years A Slave. We have filled our quota for the next few years.”

    I see Bendy Dick Cumbersnatch managed to slither his way into a nomination this year. I still don’t get why Hollywood is so up his ass but whatever. And how the hell did Keira Knightly get in there this year.

    And I just watched the Grand Budapest Hotel last night and while it was an enjoyable enough film I wouldn’t have nominated it for ANYTHING. It wasn’t that good when you hold it up to all the other films that came out this year.

      • And Benedict Cumberbatch is a very good actor with an excellent performance in Imitation Game. He and Keira carry the ok view, the script is a bit ropey in parts.

    • Benedict Cumberbatch is one of the greatest actors of this generation and I WILL NOT have you dissing my fave.

      And fuck you for dissing Kiera too.

      The Imitation Game remains a beautiful, fantastic film and a gorgeous tribute to a gay man who was a war hero and a pioneer of computer science who was horribly persecuted for his sexuality.

      And he’s finally on the pound notes of England.

      Have some bloody respect.

  12. updates it’s data base of every Academy Award nominee and win there’s been each time the newest list comes out and the always include a summary of notable snubs or suprising omission. Here’s there latest response. I especially agree with them about The Lego Movie and Life Itself along with the other already mentioned here.

  13. Look, as long as I don’t have to see Jennifer Aniston win anything for not sucking per her usual, than something good has come of this.

    I am particularly frustrated about no female directors and the lame excuses they gave for narrative and historical accuracy for each movie. *Couch* Bullshit.

    Also, Nightcrawler is such a WTF I can’t even handle it. If I was Jake Gyllenhall, I’d be beyond pissed.

  14. I will say there were a lot of questionable choices this year and many movies/people left out. The fact that one movie being left out, makes the entire Oscars white, is where the racism is at…not so much the snub. A lot of good nominations were snubbed, even ones that were considered shoo-ins.

    I think people are kind of blowing up the wrong thing. There shouldn’t be one black movie candidate a year. And it shouldn’t have to be a black movie to get attention! How about a move that simply has black people in it, or it directed by a black person, or has black people on the art/creative team.

    • “The fact that one movie being left out, makes the entire Oscars white, is where the racism is at…not so much the snub.”

      Chillingly accurate.

    • Also, I didn’t intend to focus on black people. I meant all non white people. This year’s choice just happened to be a movie with black people.

      • One could say it’s more appropriate to call Selma a movie about the black freedom struggle that had consequence and lasting meaning for all-American’s as opposed to just a “black movie”. (I assume you mean Selma when you refer to one black movie) Of course, it a really sign of promise would be a movie or two nominated for bast picture when a non-white person in a leading role or a predominate non-white cast that aren’t even real about racial issues. That it would be really hard for anyone to call them just “black movies” or “red movies.” It hard to remember the last time a best picture oscar nominee with black actors in leading roles that wasn’t a historical piece of some kind, as opposed to something like a family drama where race was incidental. Some Best Foreign Language nominees maybe, not movies made in America, Briton, or Canada. OCD movie buff that I am, that’s something I’ll have to investigate further.

  15. I was about to say “yep there were no people of colour nominated, but you got something wrong, there are women nominated!”….. then I realised I was looking at the best supporting/actress category. I was just thinking the other day about how dumb it is that the Oscars still separate acting into actor/actress but looking at this, there’s so much blatant sexism that maybe it’s just as well, otherwise women wouldn’t win anything at all!!! *sarcasm* *sarcasm???* *frustration*

    • I think the expectation of women in the acting profession going all the way back to theater is probably why the separate actor/actress categories have been one of the few constants in movie award show from the beginning. Though that’s just a theory. If any thing certain it’s that acting has been one of the few credit jobs in business of film and theater that women seem have little trouble getting, even if in many occasion the opportunities were (and to an extent still our) much narrower for actresses.

  16. Just wanted to throw it out there that Dean Deblois (Director of HTTYD 2 who won the globe last week) is a gay white man, so theres that…

  17. I dunno, this shit is so blatant and over the top I’d prefer not to even acknowledge it. I wonder if its for publicity or whatever, just to cause a stir. The Oscars aren’t all about talent, they’re political. This years prom just happens to be white-dude themed, wich makes sense after what happened in November. I bet you the vast majority of people that are all outraged about this are the same bunch of dumb fucks that didn’t go out and vote.

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