Diversity at the Academy Awards: Why It Matters

January 16, 2015 2:53 PM

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No matter who wins on Oscar night, the 2015 Academy Awards will be remembered for the stunning lack of diversity in its nominees that spawned the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. For the first time in almost 20 years, there is not a single person of color among the 20 nominations for the four acting categories. Nor did women fare well; for the first time since 1999, men make up all the nominees in the key categories of directing and screenwriting. While there has been much discussion about how this could have happened, for me, it's more important to remember why it matters: seeing diversity at Hollywood's biggest night can inspire young people to believe in their dreams.

I was born in Saigon, Vietnam and am an immigrant to the United States. Growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, except for in "Kung Fu Theater" and Bruce Lee martial arts movies, I saw very few Asian faces on my television screen or in movie theaters. Back then, I remember having an interest in the media...

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