If any further proof was needed of the widening gulf between film and television when it comes to representing diverse stories on screen, look no further than this year's Oscar nominations.
Oscar nominations show lack of diversity
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Oscar nominations show lack of diversity
Industry experts and Academy leaders express their disappointment in the fact that the 2016 Oscar nominations don't reflect outstanding efforts by racially diverse contenders.
For the second year in a row, all the nominees in the acting categories for the Academy Awards are white, while all the directors are men (and almost exclusively white too).
As in previous years, this reflects ongoing problems with both the recognition of the work of actors and directors of colour, and female directors, as well as the opportunities available to them.
While there were a number of films starring black protagonists this year which received high praise, attained significant commercial success and other awards' nominations - including Creed, Straight Outta Compton and Beasts of No Nation - all of these were overlooked in the Academy Awards' acting categories - as well as the Best Picture category.
Sylvester Stallone, who is white and revived his role as Rocky Balboa in Creed, did however score a nomination, as well as a Golden Globe award for the role.
Idris Elba had already received a Golden Globe nomination for his role in Beasts of No Nation, a war drama set in West Africa, while both that film and Straight Outta Compton, the NWA biopic, were each recognised with a Screen Actors Guild nomination. But neither film earned a single acting nod at this year's Oscars, with the rap biopic only scoring a Best Original Screenplay nomination.
The Oscars of course can't nominate every worthy performance and there are plenty of terrific actors every year who miss out. But that for the second year in a row, not a single performance by a person of colour receives a nomination, is hugely problematic and suggests a wider problem.
Last year audiences took to social media to criticise the nominations under the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, leading the president of the Academy, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who is an African-American woman, to come out and defend her organisation's attempt to improve diversity.
This followed evidence that the Academy was markedly less diverse than the movie-going public or America itself, and skewered heavily towards older, white men. According to a 2012 survey, 94 per cent of Academy voters were Caucasian, 77 per cent were men and they had a median age of 62. Just two per cent of voters were black, compared to at least 13 per cent of Americans.
The lack of nominations for actors of colour also reflects a wider problem in Hollywood itself - the ongoing paucity of roles for non-white actors, and particularly for black women, in major films.
The Hollywood Reporter earned ire for its all-white Oscars 'Roundtable' cover of potential female nominees, though the magazine defended its decision as reflecting the "appalling" truth that no black women were in contention this year or led the cast of a major, acclaimed film.
That no women were nominated for best director again this year also reflects the lack of women in general behind the camera in Hollywood, with just 9 per cent of the highest grossing films in 2015 directed by women.
All this stands in stark contrast to the current state of television, an increasingly diverse medium that is home to actors and directors of calibre, stories that reflect multicultural America as well as the lesbian, gay and transgender experience.
At the Emmys and Golden Globes respectively, black women in their 40s and 50s picked up the Best Actress in a Drama award for acclaimed shows - Viola Davis for How to Get Away With Murder and Taraji P. Henson for Empire, while other shows with diverse casts of different ages, including Orange is the New Black, Jane the Virgin and Master of None have been recognised with awards or nominations.
In accepting her Emmy award, the first time a black woman had won Best Actress in a Drama, David gave a rousing speech condemning the history of limited roles for black women and said bluntly 'You simply cannot win an Emmy for roles that aren't there'.
"The only thing that separates women of colour from anyone else is opportunity," she said.
There are many theories as to why film is falling behind television in this way - including the nervousness and conservatism of risk-averse film studios in an age of piracy and streaming - but given the commercial and critical success of shows like Empire or Orange is the New Black, its hard not to conclude that film studios are simply behind the curve of when it comes to who and what audiences want to see.
Shonda Rhimes, the hit-making creator of How to Get Away with Murder and other television shows which feature complex women from different racial backgrounds in the lead roles, has rejected the notion that she is "diversifying" television.
"I really hate the word 'diversity.' It suggests something other... As if there is something unusual about telling stories involving women and people of colour and LGBTQ characters on TV," she told a Human Rights Campaign gala last March.
"I have a different word: normalising. I'm normalising TV. I am making TV look like the world looks."
While television may look more like the world, or at least modern America, for now, cinema, at least as its represented at the Academy Awards, remains decidedly abnormal.