How #OscarsSoBlack Came At Too High a Price

The Academy will never “Do the Right Thing”

Ezinne Ukoha
9 min readFeb 25, 2019


It’s hard to believe that it’s been 4 years since the viral hashtag, #OscarsSoWhite was launched by April Reign because most of us can distinctively remember when it took flight, and proved durable enough to warrant the complete attention of the Academy.

It was the 2016 award season, and the Oscar nominations were unapologetically White, and this not only drew the ire of Black Twitter, but it also necessitated the disapproving input of Black A-listers like Jada Pinkett Smith, who posted a video explaining the travesty of Will Smith’s best actor snub.

In all honesty, Will Smith didn’t demonstrate his worthiness of an Oscar nomination for his role in Concussion for many reasons, but mainly because of the terrifically bad accent that he assigned to his character, Dr. Bennet Omalu, who is an Igbo man, and definitely deserved the appropriate representation.

But in the midst of the anger and frustration was the underground movement that made its way above ground, and into the outdated statutes of a traditionally biased institution, that desperately needed an overhaul.

And the revisions were made almost immediately under the tutelage of then AMPAS President, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who promptly established…