The times are changing but in some cases not fast enough. With the 90th annual Academy Awards behind us it is clear that despite the Best Original Screenplay and numerous category nominations that went to Jordan Peele’s satirical horror film ‘Get Out’, Hollywood has a long way to go to appropriately reflect the ethnic (and gender) diversity of the US and global audiences.
‘Get Out’ has received numerous accolades and it was selected by the National Board of Review, the American Film Institute, and Time magazine as one of the top 10 films of 2017. It grossed an impressive $255m from box-office takings worldwide and that on a tiny budget of just over $4m. This figure might not be as impressive as the industry-shifting ‘Black Panther’, which has so far grossed over half-a-billion US dollars worldwide, but no less supports the findings of UCLA’s annual 'Hollywood Diversity Report' titled ‘Five years of progress and missed opportunities’. Box office figures and this report, spearheaded and co-authored by Darnell Hunt, dean of the Division of Social Sciences reveal the obvious appetites of audiences around the globe for more gender and ethnic diversity.
Marvel Studios ‘Black Panther’ didn’t make it into the 2017 round of voting but when its time comes next year the film is guaranteed to at the very least take home the awards for Costume Design – although my verdict is still out on some aspects – and Original Score by Ludwig Göransson, with his effective use of percussion instruments, which perfectly complement that super hot Kendrick Lamar-curated soundtrack album.