This year’s Academy Award nominations were released on Jan. 13, 2020. Some of the nomination categories included makeup and hairstyling, music, actor/actress in a leading film, international feature film, live action short film and visual effects. Some of the better known nominations this year include “The Irishman,” “Little Women,” “Frozen II” and “Avengers: Endgame.” This year there were some hurt feelings among the actors and actresses of Hollywood who did not receive nominations. The New York Post reported that actors like Jennifer Lopez and Adam Sandler were “snubbed” for Oscar nominations. The New York Post quoted an Academy member who said that “actors become brands,” which is the reason why some actors were nominated and some were not. A person’s brand can be defined as an individual’s identity and position perceived across the market. This idea of what a person’s brand is has significantly impacted Hollywood, especially the Oscars. Actors such as Jennifer Lopez and Adam Sandler had some complaints relating to the nomination process. They believed they were snubbed out of a nomination because of the Oscar’s elitism.

In Hollywood, it is no secret that image and reputation is everything. So, it was no surprise that actors were not nominated because of their “brand.” Regardless of whether this is true or not, the real issue at hand is whether this behavior is acceptable or not.

The movie “Hustlers,” which grossed more than 100 million dollars domestically, failed to give Jennifer Lopez an Oscar nomination. If financial success and popularity were the main factors that warranted a nomination, Lopez would have been nominated. However, there are many other factors that affect the Academy’s decision such as the person’s reputation, brand and past projects. Unfortunately for Lopez, the public perceives her as more of a celebrity and a performer than an actress. Historically, people who are nominated for Oscars are primarily actors and take part in projects that circle around more serious issues. The New York Post even quotes the Academy which stated that ‘Hustlers” was a little too “rough around the edges.” Unfortunately, things like “brand” and reputation do matter in Hollywood, and it is part of the business. Even though Lopez has had massive success in other areas like music and television, this could hinder her chances of ever receiving an Oscar. 

“Uncut Gems” star Adam Sandler also believed he was wrongly passed over for an Oscar nomination. There was speculation that the reason for this was because Hollywood does not view Sandler as a serious actor, especially considering his movie repertoire, which mainly consists of silly comedies. The Academy argues that some actors and movies are “Oscar material” while others are not. However, this is completely unfair on Hollywood’s part. The Academy needs to think of a better way to determine which movies and actors are eligible for an Oscar nomination and which are not. The current system seems to be based on maintaining an inner circle in Hollywood and not actual merit, which is the wrong way to decide the nominations. Hollywood basing their nominations on people who are in the “inner circle” actually reinforces the idea that you do not need actual talent to win, consequently bringing down the credibility of the Academy. 

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