The Oscars Have An Embarrassingly Long History With Race Controversy
Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American to win an Academy Award, but her career in Hollywood was still plagued by racist incidents.By Grant Suneson | February 25, 2016
One of the most talked about stories surrounding this year’s Academy Awards is the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, prompted by a lack of diversity in the award show's nominations.
Racial issues have plagued the film industry for decades, as highlighted by the first black Academy Award winner, Hattie McDaniel. McDaniel won the award in 1940 for her portrayal of a slave named Mammy in "Gone With the Wind."
McDaniel was reportedly segregated from her white co-stars at the event, forced to sit at a table in the back of the room. After the Academy Awards, McDaniel had to celebrate elsewhere too, as the clubs were still separated in the 1940s.