Black Actor Oscar Nominations: By The Numbers

7 Best Supporting Actress Nominees Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis and Naomie Harris (The Wrap)

7 Best Supporting Actress Nominees Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis and Naomie Harris (The Wrap)

Remember how the last couple of Oscar ceremonies were plagued by a lack of diverse nominees, especially in the major categories? The Academy has appeared to learn from that. The change has become especially clear in the acting categories. This year, each acting category has at least one Black nominee.

Here are the stats:

Best Actor: Denzel Washington (“Fences”)

  • Washington is now the most nominated Black actor in Oscar history. He’s had six previous nominations, two for Best Supporting Actor and four for Best Actor. He won Best Supporting Actor in “Glory” in Best Actor for “Training Day” in 2001.

Best Actress: Ruth Negga (“Loving”)

Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”)

Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis (“Fences”), Naomie Harris (“Moonlight”), Octavia Spender (“Hidden Figures”)

  • This year is the first time an acting category has had three Black nominees. The last time an acting category had two Black nominees was in 1985, when Margaret Avery and Oprah Winfrey were both nominated for “The Color Purple.”
  • This is the second time the Best Supporting Actress category has had three non-white nominees. The first time was in 2007, with Jennifer Hudson for “Dreamgirls,” and Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi for “Babel” nominated.
  • Davis made history this year by becoming the first Black actress to score three Oscar nominations. Previously, Whoopi Goldberg was the only Black actress to have two Oscar nominations. She won the Oscar for her second nomination for her performance in “Ghost” in 1991.
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#ThrowbackThursday: Whoopi Goldberg Wins the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “Ghost,” 1990

Whoopi Goldberg at the Oscars, 1991 (Leosigh)

Whoopi Goldberg at the Oscars, 1991 (Leosigh)

Actress/comedian Whoopi Goldberg won an Oscar for “Ghost,” the seminal Patrick Swayze movie where his character dies and comes back as, you guessed it, a ghost. (Shocker, right?) Goldberg played Oda Mae Brown, a psychic who helps Swayze’s character.

Goldberg won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for the movie a the 63rd Annual Academy Awards in 1991. This was her second Oscar nomination: Goldberg had previously been nominated for Best Actress in 1986’s “The Color Purple.”

Until the 2017 Oscar nominations were announced, Goldberg was the only Black actress to be nominated for an Oscar twice. Now there’s a new record: Powerhouse actress Viola Davis received a nomination for her work in “Fences,” and she is now the only Black actress to be nominated three times for an Oscar.  Davis had previously been nominated in 2009 for “Doubt” and in 2012 for “The Help.”

California Will Now Offer Picking Up a Year’s Worth of Birth Control Pills in One Prescription

Birth control pills (Salon)

Birth control pills (Salon)

Once again, California blazes the way for the rest of the nation. Last week, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that states that women will be able to pick up a year’s supply of birth control pills at one time. Before this law passed, pharmacists were only able to dispense birth control in three-month supplies. (And I know I’ve had trouble with even that.)

Worried about if your insurance will cover it? No need: the new law also requires that the new year-at-once be covered in healthcare plans.

The new law goes into Jan. 1, 2017.

All of the Oscar Acting Nominees Are White. WTF?

 

Oscars 2016 Best Actress Nominees (Reuters)

Oscars 2016 Best Actress nominees (Reuters)

Last week, the Oscar nominations were announced. Selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), the winners will be revealed Feb. 28. But this year continued a disturbing trend that began last year: Not one of the nominees in any of the acting categories (Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor) were people of color (POC).

I use the word “disturbing” as it seems the Academy is determined to ignore stories and narratives that don’t fit within their very narrow worldview. It’s becoming increasingly clear that non-white stories are not only valuable (as we knew already), but make bank, both in terms of box office and in social influence. (See this past year’s examples of TV smash “Empire,” and movies “Straight Outta Compton” and “Dope.”) The Academy needs to wake up and see that rewarding diverse stories can only help their bottom line.

In terms of the numbers, here are some of the most recent POC nominees (counted if they didn’t win) and winners:

Best Actress:

Winner: Halle Berry (“Monster’s Ball,” 2001)

Nominee: Quvenzhane Wallis (“Beasts of the Southern Wild,” 2012)

Best Actor:

Winner: Forest Whitaker (“The Last King of Scotland,” 2006)

Nominee: Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years a Slave,” 2013)

Best Supporting Actress:

Winner: Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave,” 2013)

Nominee: Taraji P. Henson (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” 2008)

Best Supporting Actor:

Winner: Djimon Hounsou (“Blood Diamond,” 2006)

Nominee: Barkhad Abdi (“Captain Phillips,” 2013)

 

Planned Parenthood Hacks: By The Numbers

Planned Parenthood site outage (Planned Parenthood)

Planned Parenthood site outage (Planned Parenthood)

You may have heard that Planned Parenthood’s website got hacked earlier this week. But did you know it got hacked twice?

That’s right. It actually happened twice in one week. Planned Parenthood was first hacked this past Sunday night, and then again on Wednesday. The hacking on Sunday was performed by a group called 3301. The group hacked employees’ personal contact information and internal emails and files. According to 3301’s leader E, the breach was possible due to the organization’s “extremely outdated and broken” coding.

While previously unknown, this group holds some extreme anti-abortion views, and feels that what Planned Parenthood does is “a very ominous practice.” The hacking was prompted by some recent leaked videos showing Planned Parenthood officials “discussing the sale of aborted fetal tissue.”

3301 calls its members “social justice warriors.”

The hacking on Wednesday interfered with the organization’s usual flow of web traffic. It was a large “distributed denial-of-service” (DDoS), where users couldn’t access the site due to the server getting flooded with voluminous quantities of data.

(And for those who wish I’d write about something else this week: yes, I know I just covered another prominent website’s hacking, but I couldn’t let this one pass by unacknowledged.)

Here are the numbers behind the hacking:

1: day that Planned Parenthood took their own site offline

2: times the site has been hacked this week

2: Government agencies (Department of Justice and the FBI) investigating the data breaches

300: number of Planned Parenthood employees whose personal information has already been leaked

200K: number of people who visit Planned Parenthood’s site daily

2.7M: Number of people that Planned Parenthood helps in a given year

How Many Husbands Take Their Wives’ Last Names?

Zoe and Marco Saldana (KCCI)

Zoe and Marco Saldana (KCCI)

Happy Friday! Earlier this week, actress Zoe Saldana told “InStyle” that her husband Marco Perego wanted to take her last name, instead of having her take his. Saldana was initially hesitant:

I tried to talk him out of it. I told him, ‘If you use my name, you’re going to be emasculated by your community of artists, by your Latin community of men, by the world.’ But Marco looks up at me and says [in his Italian accent], ‘Ah, Zoe, I don’t give a sheet.’

Now, that’s a true man right there. Husbands taking their wife’s last name isn’t too common, at least anecdotally. But what about the data? Has it been tracked?

No, it hasn’t, at least not yet. I found several articles profiling couples who did it, but each article mentioned in some way that statistics weren’t tracked. Oh well. On the other hand, it’s a topic ripe for picking for a Ph.D. thesis. Any takers?

But Mr. Saldana (né Perego) made a huge impact. Meghan Blalock of “Who What Wear” puts his decision in context:

The storied history of women taking men’s last names in marriage is not just a trend or a matter of practicality—it’s a long-existing symptom of the patriarchal society in which we live, in which a marriage means that a woman is little more than a man’s property.

So his decision shows that he’s not just a traditionally masculine man, but that he has a sensitive side towards women and feminism, and isn’t afraid to show it. Pretty badass, right? Maybe we’ll see more men follow suit!

Caitlyn Jenner Gets New E! Docuseries “I Am Cait”

Caitlyn Jenner, 'I Am Cait' (Skynews Australia)

Caitlyn Jenner, ‘I Am Cait’ (Skynews Australia)

That was quick: Caitlyn Jenner announced that she’ll star in a docuseries titled “I Am Cait” for E!. (E! is also home to “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and its various iterations.) The docuseries will follow Jenner as she begins life as a woman.

The eight-part series will premiere on July 26th, and will air in 120 countries.

This is the second docuseries announced on the life of a transgender woman this year. The E! show follows TLC’s previously announced “All That Jazz,” which will focus on teen transgender activist Jazz Jennings.