RRR’s Best Original Song Win Highlights Oscars’ Efforts Towards Inclusive Representation

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When a light is shined on a problem, it is half the problem solved. Given Oscar’s checkered history when it comes to racism and being progressive, there were always calls for the Academy to consciously introspect and improve. Even though they haven’t managed it always, the diversity of stellar actors of color, different directors and crews, and openness to other cultures, nominees like Everything Everywhere All at Once and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and even RRR’s Best Original Song win for Naatu Naatu in Oscars 2023 is definitely an encouraging sign of diversity representation for women and non-white people, though there is still a long a way to go. 

The Academy’s increasing openness towards representation is timely and a direct result of the 2015 social media campaign #OscarsSoWhite which was started by activist and writer April Reign. Drawing attention to the fact that none of the 20 nominated actors was a non-white person. 

This representation inequity has long been a part of Hollywood. A 95-year survey found that over the history of the Academy Awards, only 6% of nominees have been people of color. Another group often disadvantaged are women, who have comprised only 17% of the nominees while women of color were just 2% of total nominees. 

The 2015 campaign has redressed some of this inequality in representation. A USC study found that 8% of nominees between 2008 and 2015 were from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups. In the post #OscarsSoWhite era between 2016 and 2023, that number increased to 17%. In the eight-year period prior to #OscarsSoWhite, women represented 21% of Oscar nominees; the study shows that number jumped to 27% in the eighth year. 

This study is indeed a heartening step in the right direction though when examined with respect to 19 categories used by the USC researchers, there is still much work to be done. 

Jay Ho ! The Jay Kumar Show is proud that RRR’s win at the Oscars has infused a desi twist to this increased progress in diversity and what a fun and catchy and viral way they have done it. Stay tuned to Jay-Ho.com for more news from the entertainment world. 

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