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#OscarsSoWhite: Academy Awards slammed for lack of diversity

LOS ANGELES -- There were some inspiring performances by black actors in 2015, so it surprised many when all 20 Academy Awards nominees for acting were white -- for the second year in a row.

The announcement of the Oscar nominations Thursday morning was as notable for those who were left off the list as for those who were on it.

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Actor John Krasinski and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announce the Actor in a Leading Role nominees during the nominations announcements for the 88th Academy Awards in Beverly Hills, California January 14, 2016.
REUTERS

Will Smith was not nominated for his performance in "Concussion." Nor were Idris Elba and Abraham Attah chosen for their critically acclaimed roles in "Beasts of No Nation."

Likewise, Tessa Thompson and Michael B. Jordan were ignored for highly praised performances in "Creed."

Instead, the Oscar nominations went almost exclusively to white actors and directors. Only the director of "The Revenant," Alejandro Inarritu from Mexico, broke into the all-white crowd.

The response was immediate. On Twitter, #OscarsSoWhite went viral.

It should not have come as a surprise. After the same criticism last year, host Neil Patrick Harris opened the awards show by saying, "Welcome to the 87th Oscars. Tonight, we honor Hollywood's best and whitest -- sorry, brightest."

Thursday on "The Talk," Kevin Frasier of "Entertainment Tonight" blamed the demographics of Academy voters

"The Academy voters are still 94 percent white, 76 percent male, and their average age is 63," Frasier pointed out.

Those voters did select one African American themed movie. "Straight Outta Compton" was nominated for Best Screenplay -- but all of its writers are white.

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