Analysis on “Another Oscar Year, Another All-White Ballot”

Not so Diverse Oscar’s: Rhetorical Strategies in Buckley’s “Another Oscar Year, Another All-White Ballot”

Does The Oscar awards have a system based that’s based on numbers of Caucasian actors in the film? According to the author, Cara Buckley, “Another Oscar Year, Another All-White Ballot”, published in January 15, 2016 in the New York Times, and she argues that The Oscar Awards are narrowcasting and accepted mainly Caucasian actors and actresses. Avoiding films that has casted leading roles of African American. Buckley addresses her issues by using anecdotes, sources, and good facts to represent her strong credibility. Although, Buckley lacks on the background information of the racial issue on the Oscars, and doesn’t include solutions to the racial matter.


In her article, Buckley first describes the issue by introducing the problem. She introduces that the segregation of the nominees on The Oscars are one-sided for the second year. Mainly having Caucasian actors and actresses to have a better likely chance to win the Academy awards. According to Buckley, many have believed that the Academy of Motion of Arts and Sciences are to blame for the decision to have more Caucasian nominees that any other ethnicities. They are the members to diversify its ranks for each of the films. The next issue she introduces is that movies that mainly have African American Actors are up for the nominees but they only acknowledge the Caucasian actors or the writers of the film. She says that many of the movies that are eligible for the Oscars, demographically did not reflect the understanding of the the movie audience. Lastly, she talks about the difficultness for a racial group to get accepted into the same are as where Caucasians are. Winning an Oscar is one thing, and it’s a good achievement. Although, racial groups are looking for the respect and wanted to be accepted into the society of Hollywood. Being able to be at the same level as the Caucasians and receive positive attitudes towards ethnic groups.


Buckley continues to strengthen her article by having other perspectives on the impact of racial outcomes on the Oscar Nominees. Rather than continuing on by explaining the issue, Buckley uses ethos to introduce a solution to the paper. Buckley endorses Cheryl Boone Isaacs and her work. Isaacs is an African American lady, who was the Academy’s president in 2013. According to Buckley, “Part of Ms. Isaacs’ effort to broaden the voter ranks has involved inviting a younger, more diverse crowd to join the academy.”

Continuing to boost her credibility, Buckley quoted a entertainment and media professor from University of Southern California, Marty Kaplan explains that it’s a challenge, a difficult obstacle to surpass a group of white men, when they have been dominating the industry for a long time. A quote from Kaplan says,  “It’s a challenge in a group dominated by older white men to make it a contender without buzz among their peers.” Kaplan is a credible source because he has a degree in being part of the entertainment and media subject. As he would understand what he is going after. Kaplan did screenplays for three blockbuster movies, with actors like Eddie Murphy and Bruce Willis. He also had his own program/show called, “So What Else is News ?”


The next subject would be Logos, in the article, Buckley continues on by quoting Spike Lee. Lee is an award-winning African American director. Lee says, “We may win an Oscar now and then, but an Oscar is not going to fundamentally change how Hollywood does business. I’m not talking about Hollywood stars. I’m talking about the executives. we’re not in the room.” This is apart of logos because Lee is using logic by saying that winning an Oscar is going to represent an achievement for the ethnic people, but what they are after is the recognition from older Caucasian males, that have been in the industry for a long time.


Lastly, pathos is used in a few times in this article. Throughout the whole paper, the tone gave me the feeling of disappointment and anger towards the Oscars. In the beginning of the article, Buckley wants the audience to feel like the guilt is on the Academy of Motion Pictures and Media. She wants the audience to feel ashamed for the way the nominees were chosen and what it felt like to be pushed aside. Buckley says, “Still, Hollywood as a whole remains stubbornly behind sports, music, and television when it comes to diversity.” Buckley is explaining how Hollywood is presenting diversity in sports, music, and television but ashamed when they on award shows like the Oscars. As the article continues on, Buckley states the difference between the Oscars in 2016 and in 1997-1998. She explains the acceptance of racial groups were better then than now in 2016. She also quotes from other Cheryl Boone Isaacs’ slight sense of humor by being sarcastic and makes the audience feel the shame towards the Oscars.


Unfortunately, we need to more than write an article about this issue. We have to push on the issue and make sure it is known out to the world. Buckley introduces her essay with strong evidence and she was able to keep the paper at the same attitude towards the whole article. But her article could’ve been stronger, if she had more solid solutions to increase her ethos. Readers could understand the situation but how that became the conclusion should be define deeper. Finding the reason why the Academy of Motion Picture and Science did it, what was their motive.


Buckley, Cara. “Another Oscar Year, Another All-White Ballot.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 15 Jan. 2016. Web. 04 Oct. 2016.