After this year's Oscar nominees were announced, many people noted the lack of minority nominees this year despite a critically acclaimed slate of films featuring culturally diverse crews and casts. Hashtags like #OscarsSoWhite began to trend, prompting Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, whose members vote for the Oscar nominees, to voice that she was "heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion."
According to Amobee Brand Intelligence, there were 39,000 tweets about films being snubbed by the Oscar committee between when the nominees were announced on Jan. 14 and Jan. 18.
"Creed" was mentioned the most in association with Oscar snubs. Many of the tweets and social media postings revolved around how the film starred an African-American lead actor and was directed by an African-American man, and yet the only person nominated was Sylvester Stallone.
But, strangely enough, it might just turn out that the attention being paid to these snubbed movies may just help the films, by creating new buzz and more box-office sales.
The lack of nominations for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" was second most mentioned, but mostly due to the fact that the film was not included in the best picture race.
"Straight Outta Compton," "Carol" and "Beasts of No Nation" were also highly mentioned as Oscar snubs, with many saying race played a main factor in "Straight Outta Compton" and "Beasts of No Nation." Many noted that the LGBT themes of "Carol" may have affected its chances.
When it came to this year's actors, the majority of online conversations were about Kristen Stewart and how she wasn't nominated for supporting actress for "Clouds of Sils Maria." However, many also posted about how Academy voters ignored Idris Elba of "Beasts of No Nation," Will Smith of "Concussion" and Michael B. Jordan of "Creed."
While the moment can be used to bring attention to the ongoing struggles of minorities in the inclusive Hollywood sphere, it can also be a marketing opportunity for these small films. Joseph Anthony, CEO of marketing and advertising agency Hero Group, said the critically acclaimed movies should build on their buzzworthy moments.
"What we pitch to our clients is that consumers want to feel like they are a part of a process," said Anthony. "They want to feel like they can contribute and continue to voice their opinion."
Instead of focusing on the negative, he suggests these films should start campaigns to ask the public to watch the movies in theaters and judge for themselves if they should have been nominated. The films can then encourage the public to talk about their opinions of the movie on social media, instead of just relying on high-profile filmmakers and the acting community to enact change.
"It used to be that these filmmakers would get up on the box and people believed they were just starting to cry sour grapes, and they did so under potential threat of being blacklisted," Anthony said. "Now they can draft off the opinions of the public. That's what's so powerful and important to recognize now that Joe and Jane public have a voice and they're being active in dialogue (online). They are not letting things like this fly."