Tomorrow's Variety Cover Takes a Stance on #OscarsSoWhite

January 26th 2016

Aron Macarow

Backlash against the lack of diversity amongst acting nominees for the 88th annual Academy Awards continues to gain steam. Actors, directors and even the Academy president have all weighed in on the Academy's failure to nominate even one person of color in any acting category.

And now, industry trade magazine Variety is jumping into the fray — and they don't mince words. Their stark cover will hit newsstands on Tuesday, and it depicts an all white Oscar on a white background with the words "shame on us" emblazoned across the page.

Although the magazine has yet to officially tweet out the cover, Variety co-editor-in-chief Claudia Eller did. Eller also added a call to industry professionals to respond to what she calls Hollywood's "[d]iversity crisis":

The Academy has already promised action to address a ground swell of criticism from many Hollywood players, ranging from Jada Pinkett Smith to George Clooney. On Friday, the Academy announced a plan to make its voting members "significantly more diverse." It is committed to doubling the number of women and diverse members by 2020, and the proposed steps include launching an international campaign to "identify and recruit qualified new members who represent greater diversity," according to an official Academy statement. New Governors seats will also be added and committees will be restructured in an attempt to bolster the new initiative.

But the new Variety cover appears to go further, if Eller's tweet is any indication. The cover seems to point a finger at the industry as a whole. Eller's tweet suggests that the fault for the lack of diversity among Oscar nominees lies with everyone — not just Academy staff and voters — possibly echoing an open letter that Spike Lee posted to Instagram earlier this month:

"As I See It, The Academy Awards Is Not Where The 'Real' Battle Is. It’s In The Executive Office Of The Hollywood Studios And TV And Cable Networks. This Is Where The Gate Keepers Decide What Gets Made And What Gets Jettisoned To 'Turnaround' Or Scrap Heap. This Is What’s Important."


A photo posted by Spike Lee (@officialspikelee) on

The cover also prompted a response from #OscarsSoWhite creator April Reign:

The cover and potential companion articles hit newsstands on Tuesday.