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Love usually leads to trouble. Watch Joaquin Phoenix in the new trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice.

Dear Oscars

An open letter to The Academy:

Hey guys. How’s it going? Congratulations on getting your nominations out. I’m sure that your staff worked tirelessly to collect the ballots and organize the press events. And your colleagues at PricewaterhouseCoopers were probably under a lot of pressure as they counted the votes. Does Pricewaterhouse Coopers still count the votes? I know that they did. I know this because I knew everything about your awards ceremony when I was a kid. I owned every book about your history, I started printing ballots as soon as I figured out how to use a printer, and I could recite some acceptance speeches by heart. Yup, I liked you. I really liked you.

I fantasized about winning one of your awards; I practiced my surprise face in the mirror (wide, teary eyes with a hand over my open mouth). I thought that if I worked hard enough, if I honed my talent, that one day I could be good enough to sit among you.

I didn’t see a reflection of myself among your nominees. That doesn’t matter, I thought. I’ll be the exception. I’ll be the first.

I cheered as other exceptions were ushered into your elite club. I cried as I watched Halle Berry accept her statue, I screamed when Mo'Nique won for Precious, and even though Rita Moreno first held her Oscar almost two decades before I was born, I would stare at pictures of her in your backstage press room thinking that maybe one day that could be me. I’ll be the exception. I’ll be the first.

Earlier this year Kerry Washington said “[We] have been pitted against each other and made to feel like there are limited seats at the table for those of us that fall into the category of ‘other’… As ‘others’ we are taught to be successful we must reject those ‘other others’ or we will never belong.”

I watched your nominations come out today. All white acting nominees, two years in a row. You pulled your very own Tom Hanks. And in doing so, you have minimized the already limited number of seats. A dystopian game of musical chairs.

I see that Mya Taylor, Idris Elba, Benicio del Toro, Oscar Isaac, Shameik Moore, Zoë Kravitz, O'Shea Jackson, Jr., Teyonah Parris, Will Smith, Nick Cannon, and Samuel L. Jackson didn’t make it onto one of your limited chairs. And their performances were eligible. But do you have categories for performances that don’t exist because a producer didn’t want to ‘go ethnic’? Will you include honors for roles that weren’t even conceived because a writer thought ‘there’s no actor good enough to play that role’? Do you give out acting awards to kids who gave up acting because they didn’t see reflections of themselves? If you want to stick around for another few decades, maybe you should.

Do you think that by getting Chris Rock to host helps? Nah, I’ll be watching one of his brilliant comedy specials instead.

You are a very powerful organization. One that I once worshiped. But if you keep limiting the seats at the table, eventually we’re just going to find another table.

Dylan Marron