For African-Americans, the 2015 Oscars will end up being remembered best for Common and John Legend’s moving performance of “Glory” from the film Selma, which took home its only Oscar for Best Original Song.
Unfortunately, it might also end up being remembered for not having any African-American nominees, although Selma was also nominated for Best Picture.
Already feeling snubbed from the lack of African-American nominees this year, Black viewers were not expected to tune-in in large numbers, according to Nielsen. Based on historical data, when African-Americans feel slighted by the nomination process they are less likely to tune in. For example, in 2010 Precious was nominated for best picture and Mo’Nique won an Oscar for supporting actress, resulting in more than 4.3 million African-American viewers. The following year, there were NO African-American acting nominees and Black viewership fell 42 percent.
Now cognizant of their ability to express frustration about one medium through another, Blacks flexed their social media muscles and used multiple platforms to vent about the lack of African-American nominees this year and voice their support for Common and John Legend. As a result, the globally-trending conversation received mainstream media attention across both social media and traditional media outlets.