#OscarsSoWhite: Boycotting using multiple platforms

The 2016 Oscars was interesting for very many reasons. In January 2016, Jada Pinkett-Smith called for a boycott of the 2016 Oscars due to lack of diversity among nominees.

The Power of Social Media

Social media is a strong emerging media platform. An entire boycott of the Oscars was formed after the release of Jada Pinkett-Smith’s video. It can be argued that many African Americans were tired of the lack of diversity among Oscar nominations throughout history, but the moment Jada’s video went viral the movement began. The hashtag #OscarsSoWhite was a trending topic on Twitter Sunday evening.

Although the movement started with a Facebook video, opinions were being shared across many platforms. Many celebrities voiced their opinions on social media, the red carpet and on stage!


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Red Carpet Interviews

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On Stage

Chris Rock hosted the 2016 Oscars and made it a point to voice his opinion in his opening monologue. 

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Boycott Effectiveness 

The Oscars Ratings have continuously decreased over the past eight years. Do you think lack of diversity has contributed to the low ratings? Although ratings were low there was positive and negative feedback via social media during the Oscars. despite those who weren’t watching pictures and videos from the Oscars were shared across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. How can marketers for the Oscar use social media for the 2017 Oscars to increase ratings and conversation about the event?

One thought on “#OscarsSoWhite: Boycotting using multiple platforms

  1. Hi, Asia.

    As a person who works in the newspaper industry, the issue of diversity and the media has been an ongoing battle that I do not see changing, unfortunately. There is too much social and economic power involved in the perpetuating of imagery, not only with the product but the leadership of these structures. Despite the United States being nearly 37 percent non-white according to U.S. Census numbers, the percentage of minorities in the newsroom has fallen to 12.37 percent.

    This is a somewhat similar topic I discussed a bit on Cam Newton’s discussion about black quarterbacks in the NFL still presents discomfort. At this point, when the same conversation keeps coming up decades later it is very clear this status quo is fine the way things are.

    From a marketing standpoint, the Oscars’ declining ratings continue a downward trend for live award shows in an era where people are gravitating toward premium watch channels and on-demand services such as Netflix. What the marketers for the show need to emphasize is that it is moving toward diversity, not just with casting but the type of movies that feature black characters.

    When I do see black actors being nominated for Oscars it usually is some role that is involving black characters in a negative light. Denzel Washington won two Oscars for being a former slave (“Glory”) and a corrupt police officer (“Training Day”). Halle Berry won an Oscar for a role known for a sex scene with Billy Bob Thornton (“Monster’s Ball”). Movies such as the “Blind Side,” “12 Years a Slave” and “The Help” just perpetuate this image that only movies where black people are in roles subservient to white Americans are relevant in white Americans’ eyes. So the Oscars has to do a better job in choosing movies in which are respectful in depicting black actors, as well.



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