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Dr. Sherri Williams offers commentary on #OscarsSoWhite

January 23, 2016

Dr. Sherri Williams, a faculty member in the Communications Department at Wake Forest University, studies representations of people of color in the media. FOX 8 in High Point, North Carolina asked Williams to offer insight into the #OscarsSoWhite debate. Williams said the awards show is already irrelevant among many black viewers.

“There is and already has been a quiet and maybe undeclared boycott of the Oscars by African-Americans anyway,” said Williams who teaches a class on race, gender and the media. “People already don’t watch the Oscars and they have really become obsolete because people don’t see the work that they enjoy and the work that really expresses their life stories on television so they already haven’t been watching.”

“The Academy needs to really reflect the country and it needs to really show and reflect what’s going on in this nation or it really risks becoming obsolete not only with African-Americans but with other demographic groups”

If the Academy doesn’t want to lose the interest of other groups it must change, Williams said.

“Right now the voting Academy is 94 percent white, 76 percent male and the average age of the voters is 63,” Williams said. “The Academy needs to really reflect the country and it needs to really show and reflect what’s going on in this nation or it really risks becoming obsolete not only with African-Americans but with other demographic groups.”

Read more: #OscarsSoWhite diversity debate prompts question of the awards show’s relevance among people of color