On the pulse: Are black actors being given the recognition they deserve within the film industry?

Last night saw the Baftas take place in London and as we edge closer to the Oscars questions remain regarding the lack of diversity within the film industry.

For the second year running there are no nominations for black actors in any of the four acting categories at the Oscars.

Academy president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, vowed to make dramatic changes to reform the organisation following the widespread disapproval of the announcement.

Surprising omissions from the actor race this year include Idris Elba for Beasts of No Nation, Will Smith for Concussion and Michael B. Jordan from Creed.

It’s not just the acting categories that saw especially white nominees. In the best picture category, almost all of the eight nominees feature heavily white casts in their films.

With that in mind, we took to the streets of Wimbledon to see what other people think about the opportunities given to black actors and the wider recognition they receive.

Are black actors being given the recognition they deserve within the film industry?

YES                         NO

70%                        30%

Pierre Lombard, 41, a company director from Wimbledon, believes the question should not be limited to just black actors.

He said: “The issue for me is not whether it is black or white but all minorities who could get greater or more specific recognition within mainstream cinema.

“However, in general among the population they certainly get the recognition so I think it is surprising they didn’t get the nominations for the Oscars.”

Pierre LombardPIERRE LOMBARD: Thinks all minorities need greater recognition in cinema

Mantas Jarnas, 30, a deputy manager from Wimbledon, believes that black actors are being given the opportunities within the industry to show their talents.

He said: “There are quite a few black actors in movies and in general it is balanced.”

Chloe Burton, a customer advisor from Morden, believes that black actors are just as good as white actors but that is not represented well enough when nominations for awards come around.

She said: “They are not getting the recognition for their work when they are just as good as other white actors.”

David Marsh, 24, student from Wimbledon said: “If black actors haven’t been nominated then it is because they haven’t been deemed worthy this year.

“There are certainly enough black actors and actresses within the film industry.”

Dave        DAVID MARSH: Doesn’t think there is an issue with race

Yanrich Mukoko, a 27-year-old manager from Croydon, believes that fear within the industry might be what is preventing more black actors from being recognised.

He said: “Directors might be scared to give roles to black actors which might be the reason less opportunities are given.”

Archie Clark, 18, a cinema host from Wimbledon, believes that opportunities for black actors are getting better especially following the praise young British actor John Boyega has received for his breakthrough role.

He said: “The best example is John Boyega from the Star Wars film. He won the Rising Star award last night at the Baftas.

“Good performances will get the recognition they deserve.”

Archie ClarkARCHIE CLARK: Believes opportunities are getting better

Nicholas Shortall, 49, a receptionist from Hackney, said: “Yes, I see lots of ethnic minority actors in both the film the television industry.”

Ying Lin, 39, shop manager from Wimbledon, said: “This year there may not be any black actors nominated for the Oscars but that is probably just coincidence.

“In previous years there have been more and it just happens that this year we haven’t seen any being nominated.”

Simone Stoppa, 30, waiter from Wimbledon said: “I don’t know too much about the subject but have seen enough black actors in films to say that they are given opportunities.”

Simone StoppaSIMONE STOPPA: Thinks black actors are given opportunities

Hye Jin Jang, 25, a customer advisor from Wimbledon said: “Recognition can come in different forms but for me black actors are starting to be given more roles within the industry.

“With time recognition should hopefully start being more noticeable.”

Featured image courtesy of Laura Thorne, with thanks

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