#ThrowbackThursday: John Singleton and “Boyz N The Hood,” 1991

'Boys N The Hood,' 1991 (Pinimg)

Boyz N The Hood, made by John Singleton in 1991, was the story of three friends — played by(from left) Morris Chestnut, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Ice Cube – growing up in South Central Los Angeles.

The first African-American nominee for Best Director was John Singleton. Like Peele, Singleton was nominated for his debut film. Singleton’s film “Boys n the Hood” featured Ice Cube (in his acting debut), Cuba Gooding Jr. and Angela Bassett. Singleton’s nomination also made history because he was the youngest-ever nominee for Best Director, nominated at age 24.

This year, Jordan Peele hit the trifecta of Oscar nominations with “Get Out,” receiving nominations for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay. Peele is only the fifth African-American director to be nominated for a Best Director Oscar.

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GLAAD Reports 11% Increase in LGBTQ Discrimination in 2017

Rainbow Flag (Sauk Valley)

Rainbow Flag (Sauk Valley)

It’s no secret that the LGBTQ community has faced discrimination throughout history. And it looked like that things were getting better (to rip from Dan Savage). But the data tells a different story.

LGBT organization GLAAD recently released the results from its Accelerating Acceptance study at the World Economic Forum. GLAAD has put out this study every year since 2014 to measure attitudes towards people who identify as LGBTQ. This year’s study polled 2.1K+ people, and found that, we’re not making progress as one might reasonably expect. We’re actually backsliding.

The study found that non-LGBTQ people have become more uncomfortable in everyday situations where they might interact with members of the LGBTQ community. Situations included “having LGBT members at my place of worship” and “seeing a same-sex couple holding hands.” The percentage of respondents reporting discomfort ticked upwards at least two percentage points year-over-year (2016 vs. 2017) in each category.

Non-LGBT people are also shying away from calling themselves allies: The term dropped 2% in preference year-over-year. “Detached supporters” (defined as non-LGBT people whose comfort level depended on the situation) gained 4% in popularity.

LGBT people also reported more discrimination in 2017, leading to an 11% increase in reported harassment from 2016. It doesn’t take a genius to draw parallels between this stat and the kind of person who currently occupies the Oval Office.

Here’s where it gets interesting: Despite the decreases in the numbers of non-LGBT people reporting being comfortable around the LGBT community, the reported support for equal rights for LGBT people held steady year-over-year at 79%.

One thing that’s unclear is the methodology used: Are these results self-reported, or were respondents selected by another method? And did people lie about supporting equal rights, but tell the truth everywhere else? I’d love to know this.

This study is very disheartening. We still have a long way to go until it truly gets better.

 

 

Jordan Peele Is the First African-American to Receive The Trifecta Oscar Nominations

Jordan Peele (The Hollywood Reporter)

Jordan Peele (The Hollywood Reporter)

Jordan Peele just had the best day ever.

Oscar nominations hit yesterday, and the nominations for Peele’s movie “Get Out” put him in rarefied territory. “Get Out” received nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay for Peele.

These honors make Peele the third filmmaker to get the trifecta of honors as a first-time director. (Yes, hard to believe, but “Get Out” was his first feature!) Warren Beatty and James L. Brooks preceded Peele in this trifecta with their respective features “Heaven Can Wait” and “Terms of Endearment.” Not only that, but Peele is the first African-American to achieve this!

Congrats Jordan! I can’t wait to see what comes next for you! Crossing my fingers that you’ll win all Oscars!!

“Black Panther” Sets Fandango Record for Marvel Pre-Sales

Chadwick Boseman in 'Black Panther' (Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki)

Chadwick Boseman in ‘Black Panther’ (Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki)

Seriously, who *isn’t* eagerly awaiting “Black Panther” to drop?! If you know anyone that’s not, tell them to get right!!

The latest proof comes from ticket website Fandango, which opened ticket sales to the latest entry to Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) a week ago. Twenty-four hours later, “Black Panther” had set a new record for advance ticket pre-sales for a Marvel movie. Sadly, no numbers were given to back up this claim (because you know I’d love to see them!).

The film is clearly benefitting from broader awareness: Sales began after a national TV spot aired during the College Football Playoff National Championship. A recent Fandango survey of 8K moviegoers revealed that “Black Panther” is the second-most anticipated film of the year. It ranks below another MCU entry “Avengers: Infinity War.” Many of the “Black Panther” characters will appear in “Infinity War.” Titular star Chadwick Boseman was also voted the “most anticipated comic book hero in a standalone movie.”

This pre-sale record may or may not indicate how well “Black Panther” will do when it opens next month. According to entertainment industry trade “Deadline,” estimates not affiliated with the movie are predicting an opening weekend take of $80-85M, and maybe scaling up to $100M. But then “Captain America: Civil War” (the previous Fandango pre-sales record holder for the MCU) made $179M in its opening weekend, and went out to gross $1.15B (!) around the world.

“Black Panther” opens on Feb. 16, 2018, and stars Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, and Angela Bassett.

Iceland Becomes the First Country to Legalize Equal Pay

Equal pay demonstration in Iceland (Metrovaartha)

Equal pay demonstration in Iceland (Metrovaartha)

Though I’ve never been to Iceland, I’ve heard good things. But now I think I might want to move there. Iceland has now become the first country to legalize equal pay. The measure started taking effect on Jan. 1, 2018, and was passed by a legislative body comprised of nearly 50% women (!).

That’s right: Iceland is now the first country where it’s illegal to pay men and women differently for the same work. Companies employing 25 people and more will need to prove that they are paying men and women equal, or face fines.

Iceland has really put its money where its mouth is on the issue of equal pay. According to the Global Gender Gap Reports (read the 2017 report) that have been published yearly since 2006, Iceland had made the fastest progress and closed around 10% of its total gender wage gap.

According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2017, Iceland ranks #1 in terms of smallest gender pay gap by country. In this same list, the United States rank #49, sitting beneath Peru and just above Zimbabwe. Nicaragua, Cuba and Bangladesh all outrank the U.S.

So, ladies: who’s down to move to Iceland?

By The Numbers: The Gender Pay Gap

Equal Pay March (The Atlantic)

Equal Pay March (The Atlantic)

Everyone knows that women get paid less than men. (If you don’t know that by now, you’re welcome.) You may have heard that stat that women make 75 cents to every dollar a man makes.

This got me curious to see what the pay gap has been throughout recent history. I found long-range pay gap data from Pay Equity Information. I then made a data table to cherry-pick my desired years:

Gender Pay Gap Data, 1960-2015 (Pay Equity Information)

Gender Pay Gap Data, 1960-2015 (Pay Equity Information)

Then I created a line graph to see the difference visually:

Gender Pay Gap: 1960-2015 chart (Pay Equity Information)

Gender Pay Gap: 1960-2015 chart (Pay Equity Information)

As you can see, the pay gap was worst in 1960-1980. Only after 1980 does the ratio start to approach 70 cents to a dollar. And there’s still so far to go.

The Academy’s New Class is 39% Female and 30% POC

Priyanka Chopra, Donald Glover, Naomie Harris, and John Cho (The Hollywood Reporter)

Priyanka Chopra, Donald Glover, Naomie Harris, and John Cho (The Hollywood Reporter)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently announced its new class of members. The 2017 class numbers 744, which is a new record. This breaks the 2016 number of invitees at 683, which had previously held the record.

This new class might also hold the distinction of being the most diverse (so far). Of the 744 members, 39% are women and 30% are people of color (POC).

Here’s how the new class will influence the gender makeup of the Academy:

Overall Female Membership (Variety/AMPAS)

Overall Female Membership (Variety/AMPAS)

Notable women invited include “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot, comedian Amy Poehler, and French actress Charlotte Gainsbourg.

POC comprise 39% of this year’s class. Here’s what that looks like with respect to the Academy’s full voting body:

People of Color in Overall Membership (Variety/AMPAS)

People of Color in Overall Membership (Variety/AMPAS)

Notable POC invitees include Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key of “Key & Peele,” Indian actor Salman Khan, and Hong Kong actor Tony Leung.

Of course, there’s a lot of intersectionality happening for women of color (WOC). Prominent WOC in this year’s Academy class include Priyanka Chopra, Sanaa Lathan, and Nazanin Boniadi.

The Academy’s new class is part of an effort to increase the numbers of women and POC members by 2020.

Hopefully the new influx of fresh faces and perspectives will allow more diverse and inclusive narratives to come to the forefront, and prevent another #OscarsSoWhite fiasco.