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People’s Choice Awards: Minority Actors, Artists Need Not Apply

Queen Latifah jubilantly shows off her award. She was the only minority to win a competitive catetory--best new talk show host--at the People's Choice Awards.

Queen Latifah jubilantly shows off her award. She was the only minority to win a competitive catetory–best new talk show host–at the People’s Choice Awards.

The People’s Choice Awards were as white as the polar vortex. Minority artists and actors were frozen out of almost all 58 film, television and music categories, including those they usually dominate in other awards contests.

Queen Latifah was the only winner in a competitive category– Favorite New Talk Show Host.

Jennifer Hudson also won an award, but not for a competitive performance category. She was honored with the humanitarian award.

Blame it on the tyranny of the majority. More than 700 million votes were cast in a selection process that was by no means scientific or statistically valid.

Voters needed Internet access, a computer, cell phone or social media account to vote online to begin with. Results were also skewed because anyone could vote as many times as they wanted. Apparently voters were overwhelmingly white.

Click Here for a List of All 2014 People’s Choice Awards Winners & Nominees!

Even black artists were shut out of categories the would be expected to dominate like Favorite Hip-Hop Artist. Rap powerhouses Drake, Jay Z, Kanye West and Lil’ Wayne were among the nominees, but white rappers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis won.

The same went for Favorite R&B Artist. Alicia Keys, Ciara and Rihanna were among the nominees, but Justin Timberlake won, apparently for his “blue-eyed” soul music.

Why Timberlake was even in the category is a bit of a puzzle since he was also nominated for favorite pop artist. Is it possible (or fair) to be both?

But the problem goes beyond that. The nominations process was guided by the awards show producer, One Three Digital, LLC.

Before the voting started, One Three Digital picked a list of potential nominees based on national ratings averages, box-office grosses, music sales and PeoplesChoice.com data, then vetted the list through EPoll Market Research, according to the award show’s legal fine print.

Then, voters were invited to pick the nominees and winners.

The process led to some eyebrow raising omissions, like one of this year’s most powerful films “12 Years a Slave.” It included standout performances by Chiwitel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong’o, Adepero Oduye and Alfre Woodard. None were nominated.

“Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” another powerful film that tells an African-American story, made the list of nominees for Favorite Dramatic Movie, but lost to “Gravity.” Lead actor Forest Whitaker was not nominated in any category.

Comedian Chris Rock was nominated for Favorite Comedic Movie Actor, but Adam Sandler won the award for the fourth year in a row, despite a string of box office flops.

Halle Berry and Oprah Winfrey, two highly recognizable figures, were nominated in the same category, Favorite Dramatic Movie Actress, and lost to Sandra Bullock, winner of three awards.

These may be the People’s Choice Awards, but not by all of the people. Let us know your thoughts and be sure to follow TheImproper on Twitter for the latest movie news and analysis.


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