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Tony Awards 2015 Winners: Awards Ceremony Lacks Diversity

Josh Hutcherson

The Tony awards were handed out on June 7 in yet another awards ceremony that lacked diversity.

The awards show was the second of the year to lack diversity in its winners and nominees. In January, the Academy Awards of Motion Picture, Arts and Science featured all-white actors nominated in the acting categories. The nominations were heavily criticized, especially when a number of actors of diverse races and ethnicities had compelling performances that deserved recognition.

The Tony awards may have lacked diversity when the awards were handed out, but the Broadway show awards did have a number of ethnicities represented in the acting categories. These included a Japanese, a Hispanic, a black and a Filipino.

However, out of the four lead categories and the 20 nominees in these categories, only two were not white actors. The other two ethnically diverse actors were nominated for supporting roles.

Of the four actors, only Ruthie Ann Miles, a Filipino, took an award for her work on “The King and I.” The actress won for Best Actress in a featured role in a musical. Interestingly enough, “The King and I” was among the most honored shows of the evening as it won four awards including Best Revival. It also won Best Actress in a Musical for Kelli O’Hara. However, the Tony’s decided to give the Best Actor award to a white male instead of Ken Watanabe, the Japanese actor.

Watanabe lost to “Fun Home” actor Michael Cerveris. “Fun Home,” however, was also a big winner.

Meanwhile, Chita Rivera lost the Best Actress award to O’Hara. Rivera was nominated for her work in “The Visit” and the play was shut out of the five categories it was nominated for. While Rivera’s loss is no surprise, the two-time Tony award-winner was one of the telecast’s highlights for her stirring performance.

Meanwhile, K. Todd Freeman lost for his work in “Airline Highway” to Richard McCabe for his performance in “The Audience.”

Outside of the acting awards, the technical and behind the scenes teams also lacked diversity. Every single winner in the Choreography, Directing, Costume Design and even Best Play categories was white.

This is where the Oscars differentiated, which most seemed to forget. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and his team of writers and cinematographers were all Latinos, and they accounted for four awards. Common and John Legend represented the black community as the two singers won Oscars for their work on the song for “Selma.” Finally, Hayao Miyazaki received an Honorary Oscar for his achievement in cinema.

Diversity is still something the industry must overcome and, as awards shows continue, the Emmys could remedy this, especially after the Oscars and Tony awards received so much criticism. Perhaps the TV awards will look at the range of actors that the entertainment industry offers and will try to showcase the Latino, black and Asian actors that currently work in the industry. Like the Tonys, the Emmys have multiple acting awards that could potentially showcase diversity, and also have a number of TV categories that show the range the TV world has.

Source: Latin Post – http://www.latinpost.com/articles/58167/20150608/tony-awards-2015-winners-ceremony-lacks-diversity-chita-rivera-ken.htm

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