In an interview with Vulture, newer academy voters revealed that their older colleagues hadn’t even seen the film. While the 14 newcomers interviewed reflect an extended effort on behalf of the academy to diversify its voters room, the remaining voters are older and have much narrower views on what makes a film worthy of a statuette.
“I had multiple conversations with longtime academy members who were like, ‘That was not an Oscar film,’” said one new voter. “And I’m like, ‘That’s bullshit. Watch it.’ Honestly, a few of them had not even seen it and they were saying it, so dispelling that kind of thing has been super important.”
“Get Out” wasn’t the only film passed over this awards season. Jada Pinkett-Smith said that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association “wouldn’t even watch” “Girls Trip” after the summer blockbuster was snubbed by the Golden Globes.
Last year’s Best Picture winner, “Moonlight,” had a majority black cast, marking a win for representation. Unfortunately, #OscarsSoWhite is still a thing. In 2015 and 2016, no black actors were nominated for major awards.
Older academy members’ dismissal of films like “Get Out” shows there is still a long way to go. The new members of the academy are hoping to lead the change.
“I looked at the history of membership, which is mostly older white males,” said one new voter, a woman of color. “I don’t think they are going to make any positive change. I’m not going to vote like them; I don’t want to think like them. They don’t represent me or the community of artists that is important to me.”