One of the most interesting issues that I’ve eye-witnessed this week was the PR crisis happening before the Oscars (I am sure this crisis will still be mentioned until next year Oscars). It’s about the rise of tweets and facebook posts by celebrities on the diversity amongst the nominees, since many celebrities have said the nominees are too…white (both in actors/actresses and directors categories)
“Has no one in the PR team of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ever noticed this fact and prepare for the “moves-to-react” when they did the “brainstorming” or team meeting to prepare for the PR strategy for the awards?” was the first question popped up in my head, when I run through this crisis. By “preparing”, I did not mean that they should have taken some actions to change the nominations, since the actors surely were not nominated just because they have light skin. But at least, they could have fore-seen this coming and be prepared, not just waited until many actors wanted to boycott the show then they would try to turn the table.
More over, what the PR team has consulted the Academy on doing toward this crisis did raise more eye browses. After the bombardment of tweets (and retweets) and facebook posts which called out to celebs to boycott the Awards night, what the Academy did was send out a statement in which acknowledging the public that they were aware of the issue and said “it’s time for big changes” (seriously?).
According to Daniel Cherrin, a PR pro, what the Academy did was not practical at all. That is not what they need right now. Cherrin said “They acknowledge the problem, show empathy and state what they are doing to address the problem. However, in today’s world, we are no longer using textbooks”.
I personally don’t know (and don’t care) whether the nominees are Asian or Western, as long as they made good movies, then I am fine with it. But the fact that the PR team of the awards was this slow in taking actions, I can sense that something might happen next year, when the Academy run through the whole bunch of movies and pick who to be nominated. Who can be sure that this year crisis will not affect their decisions next year? Just like you force yourself to eat chocolate because you don’t want to eat two vanilla ice cream in a row, even though deep down you know, vanilla ice cream is better (just saying! I prefer chocolate!)
And if that happened, the Academy might not be boycotted by the minority of actors that are trying to play the skin-color-card, but by the whole public (we just want GOOD actors!). Well, then the PR team is going to have quite a lot to do after that, I guess.