#OscarsSoWhite is so 2016. Now, it’s #OscarsSoAgeist’s turn
After most of the conversation in 2016 revolved around #OscarsSoWhite, with just one week to go for the 2017 Oscars, a new study shows how it is now the turn of #OscarsSoAgeist.oscars 2017 Updated: Feb 23, 2017 07:36 IST
Over the years, the Academy Awards have been a part of many controversies like #OscarsSoWhite in 2016. In 2017, it is the turn of #OscarsSoAgeist.
But according to a new study, the ages of characters in best picture nominees suggest that there is a lack of representation of those who are over 60 years of age, reports The Guardian.
A new study by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, saw the spread of ages in character over 25 best picture nominees from past three years.
The research found that fewer than 12% of 1,256 named characters were of age 60 sixty or older. While the same group accounts for 19% of the population and 14% of movie ticket buyers.
“When we think about diversity, we often talk about including the usual suspects of race, gender, sexual orientation and people with disabilities, but age is often left out of the conversation. It’s a missed opportunity for Hollywood. These are people with disposable income and time on their hands to view and stream and download films,” said Stacy Smith, the study’s co-author.
Six of the 14 movies that featured a main lead or supporting senior actor included obscene or derogatory scenes which included lines such as “just sit here and let Alzheimer’s run its course”. Another sentence included was, “mentally feeble, sick old ladies”.
This year, the closest the study could find was Denzel Washington in Fences, but although the actor was 60 when he was shooting, the character he plays is 53.
The study did not include 2013 movies Nebraska and Amour, as it featured characters who were well past the age of 60. Between 2014 -2016, only one leading role was given to an actor over 60.
The actors and roles that did qualify were predominantly male and caucasian. Of the 148 characters in the best picture nominees, 77.7%were men and 89.9% white. The remaining ethnic breakdown was 6.1% black and 2% Asian. No latino or hispanic character over 60 was recorded.
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