The old white men - and this week it was revealed 94% of the voters are old and white - who decide who gets the gold at the Oscars have maintained the ceremony as a kind of privileged cultural country club that omits just about every other voice in America.

The LA Times recently did a demographic study of who is casting the votes for the Academy Award and the results they uncovered were a shocking indictment of any past commitment they have made to the true diversity of the United States.

In an article quoted on The Times 'spoke with thousands of academy members and their representatives - and reviewed academy publications, resumes, and biographies' and identified about 89% of all the people who annually vote on the Oscars.

The results were compiled as follows:

94% of the voters are white
77% of the voters are male
A mere 2% of voters are black
Less than 2% of voters are Latino
Only 14% of the voters are under 50
The median age of the voters is 62

Suddenly Michael Fassbender's failure to secure a nomination for his work on Shame makes complete sense. Suddenly the long out of date insistence that all gay A-List Hollywood stars remain in the closet makes complete sense. Suddenly the decades of awards given to mediocre work that was instantly forgotten over masterpieces that have endured makes complete sense.


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If there's one thing we have learned about Saint Patrick's Day here in New York its that old white guys prefer to give all their awards to other old white guys and everyone else will just have to take a number.

Fassbender's director Steve McQueen, who is both British and black, and the most talented filmmaker of his generation, has no doubt  why the actor he cast in Shame missed out on an Oscar nomination for his unforgettable portrayal of a sex addict. The Academy's voters are turned off by the edgy subject matter, he claimed.

McQueen told the Belfast Telegraph:'In America they're too scared of sex, that's why he wasn't nominated. If you look at the best actor list you're saying, 'Michael Fassbender is not on that list?' It's kind of crazy. But that's how it is, it's an American award, let them have it.'

McQueen's comments underlined a larger danger for the Academy: both American society and the world have moved on and the Oscars have lost much of their relevance by promoting the least challenging work, year after year. McQueen sounded genuinely uninterested in the American Awards and that's the biggest inducement of the Academy of all. Instead he sang the praises of the Irish actor whose work he admires.

'He's a once in a generation actor. He's an actor who can transform and transcend, and you actually believe him, so that's the kind of guy he is,' McQueen said.

It's a pity none of the old white guys running the Academy remembers how to recognize talent when they see it.

Here's the trailer for Michael Fassbender's and Steve McQueen's "Shame":

Michael Fassbender in "Shame"Google Images