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At first I found myself singing along, then I realized just how messed up the lyrics were.

As a self proclaimed film and TV buff, I'm always excited for awards season. But when the nominations for the 2015 Oscar awards were revealed, I couldn't help but notice one glaringly obvious trend. At first I thought I might be seeing things, but then I heard a Taylor Swift parody that summed up exactly how I felt about the 2015 Oscars.

At first I found myself singing along, then I realized just how messed up the lyrics were.

So what exactly did I notice? Well, let's take a look at the 2015 acting nominees.

Best actor in a leading role


From left to right, Steve Carell, Michael Keaton, Eddie Redmayne, Bradley Cooper, and Benedict Cumberbatch

Best actress in a leading role

From left to right, Marion Cotillard, Rosamund Pike, Felicity Jones, Julianne Moore, and Reese Witherspoon

Best actor in a supporting role



From left to right, Robert Duvall, Mark Ruffalo, Ethan Hawke, J.K. Simmons, and Edward Norton


Best actress in a supporting role


From left to right, Patricia Arquette, Emma Stone, Laura Dern, Meryl Streep, and Keira Knightley

As you can see, some of Hollywood's best and brightest stars have been nominated for the year's top acting honor. And while I can't deny my love for Meryl Streep, Robert Duvall, and Marion Cotillard, the lack of diversity in the 2015 nominees is incredibly disappointing. Not ONE actor or actress of color? And then there's the Best Director nominees, which are completely male-dominated. Now don't get me wrong, we shouldn't be handing out award nominations based on gender or the color of one's skin. I'm also not suggesting that any of these stars are underqualified. There's a lot of talent in this bunch!

But the Academy Awards' lack of diversity says a lot about the state of Hollywood. And although it's "just entertainment," how marginalized people (which includes women and people of color) are portrayed in Hollywood and other forms of media has an effect on how they're perceived in the world. Studies have also shown that diverse representations in media not only promote tolerance but also can improve self esteem. Sadly, it's not just the 2015 nominees that lack diversity. Take a look at this infographic that breaks down the Academy Awards' makeup over the past 87 years. It's not pretty.

Strangely enough, I've been known to capture my feelings (both good and bad) through song, so when I stumbled upon this Taylor Swift parody on the sad state of the 2015 Oscars, I couldn't help but think, "I wish this wasn't so truthful, but damn it, it's so, so good." Take a look at the video below, which hits on a number of Hollywood's problems, including diversity and sexism on the red carpet.

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Considering it's a parody of Taylor Swift's hit "Blank Space," it's obvious why "Blank Slate" is an automatic head-bopper. But it's the lyrics that really drive home why this parody is so spot on.

"Read about it in a magazine
Ain't it funny just how white
The year's lineup always ends up being
So hey, let's pretend
That racism is at an end
Grab your remote and my hand
We can be colorblind just for the weekend." — "Blank Space Oscars 2015 Commentary"





When you look at the numbers, along with firsthand accounts from women and actors of color in the entertainment industry, it's hard to deny that Hollywood still has a lot of work to do. Thankfully, creative people like Melissa Silverstein (the genius behind this Taylor Swift parody) are committed to calling out Hollywood and encouraging them to do better.

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Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

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Hebert isn't working with a specific organization. She is simply trying to motivate others to find ways to plug in to help get out the vote.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

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