7 out of 8 Oscar Best Picture nominees are about a white man's struggle


It's a great year to be a white man in Hollywood. Again.

Women and people of color: better luck in 2016 because according to this year's nominations, you simply do not exist. Every single one of the 20 Oscar-nominated actor and actress this year is white. There are exactly zero female writers or directors in the race.


So: what kinds of stories do the Academy — which is still 93% white and 76% male — like best in 2015? Stories about white men struggling, of course.

Almost every single nominee for Best Picture (exception: Selma) tell the perennially overlooked tale of a white man's attempt to overcome obstacles and succeed in the face of great adversity. Here are some quick synopses of the nominees for Best Picture:


American Sniper


The true story of Chris Kyle, a white Navy SEAL considered to be the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history.



Washed-up white actor battles his own ego to reclaim his stardom on the Broadway stage.



Culminating in a psychedelic mushroom trip in a picturesque state park, young white man makes it to college and finds success after experiencing the trials and tribulations of growing up white.

The Grand Budapest Hotel


White hotel concierge proves he's innocent of murder and inherits great fortune, only to die in the end.

The Imitation Game


Brilliant white mathematician succeeds in cracking Nazi Enigma code during World War II, is later criminally prosecuted for being gay.

The Theory of Everything


Brilliant white man remains brilliant despite crippling disease.



Aspiring white jazz drummer is accepted into prestigious music academy and trained by his white male mentor; achieves musical greatness and dates his dream girl.

And then there's…



The story of Martin Luther King Jr., James Bevel and Hosea Williams' 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery and the only exception to the rule in this year's Best Picture nominees.

Selma director Ava DuVuarnay was conspicuously absent from the list of Best Director nominees, which was comprised completely of men. Actor David Oyelowo, whose portrayal of Martin Luther King Jr. was widely praised, was also left off the list of Best Actor nominees, also all white men.


Alexandra DiPalma is a producer for Fusion Lightworks, Fusion’s In-house Branded Content Agency.

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