How Can the Oscars Actually Fix Their Diversity Problem? – Vanity Fair

The primary story about this year’s Oscars has had nothing to do with the nominations themselves. In the two weeks since nominations were announced, the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, a series of protests and open letters from celebrities, and an ongoing debate about Hollywood’s diversity problem has dominated the conversation and spurred the Academy to make sweeping changes to its membership. On this week’s Little Gold Men, we dive into the ongoing debate and the Academy’s rule changes, and include insight from John Legend, Spike Lee, and Don Cheadle—all three of them Academy members—who were interviewed by Vanity Fair’s executive West Coast editor Krista Smith at the Sundance Film Festival. As Legend said, “This is not a new thing, that the Academy is not very diverse, but it’s becoming even more glaring. And I think what the Academy has decided to do is a good thing, to try and recruit a more diverse base of creative people to make up the Academy, so that the votes reflect more of the diversity of the creative community and the community at large.”

And speaking of Sundance . . . Richard Lawson calls in from Utah to give us the rundown on the festival’s biggest hit, The Birth of a Nation, which, with its director Nate Parker and true story of a slave rebellion, fits right into Hollywood’s ongoing efforts to include more stories told by people of color. But it’s not all smash successes, as Richard reminds us of his experience after seeing the Daniel Radcliffe farting-corpse movie Swiss Army Man.: “I texted someone after that movie, and said, ‘I don’t think I like movies anymore.’”

Finally, we go big before we go home and do our best to predict the very, very wide-open best-director race.

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0:00–1:20: Hello!
1:38–24:46: #OscarsSoWhite and how to fix it
25:39–40:54: Sundance 2016
41:46–43:33: Predicting best director
43:33–44:20: Good-bye!