Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Oscar Nominations Omit Black Actors Once Again

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Oscar Nominations Omit Black Actors Once Again

Article excerpt

There were 20 acting nominations for this year's Academy Awards

-- with no black actors among them.

Velma Cato isn't surprised.

"The roles just don't exist," she said. "Hollywood still does

not see blacks in every role. That's our biggest problem."

The Los Angeles-based Cato wrote, directed and produced Small

Steps, Big Strides, a documentary about black actors and

Hollywood. It aired on AMC last night.

There are clearly many black actors capable of Oscar-winning

roles, but still too few good, Oscar-worthy roles are given

them, Cato said.

"Clearly it stems back to the same problems Ethel Waters,

Dorothy Dandridge and Sidney Poitier found," she said. That is,

an occasional good role will come along -- Waters, Dandridge and

Poitier (who won) were all nominated for Oscars -- but they

don't arrive very often.

It is, she said, a continuing struggle. "I think that, much

like the first ones that came, we have to, unfortunately,

agitate, to raise our voices."

Progress has been made, Cato said, with stars such as Will

Smith and Denzel Washington filling roles in which their skin

color isn't a factor. …

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