The Oscars and Hollywood might be improving in diversity, but for many viewers, a viral mistake this year proves that there’s still a long way to go. Media outlets including The Washington Post and Getty Images are under fire for mistaking “Star Wars” actress Kelly Marie Tran with Olympic figure skater Mirai Nagasu in their Oscars slideshows.
Critics are accusing The Washington Post and other outlets of racial insensitivity for captioning pictures of Tran, a Vietnamese-American actor, with Nagasu’s name, and vice versa. Nagasu is Japanese-American. Several critics also accused the outlets of mistaking Nagasu and Tran, two of the few Asian-American attendees at the Oscars this year, solely based on their similar blue dresses and the fact that they are both of Asian descent.
Many suspect that the widespread mistake began from Getty Images, an image distribution site where many publications source their images from. Given that Getty Images was the first to caption a picture of Tran with Mirai’s name, many outlets likely took the caption as fact and published it.
Still, that is no excuse for the racial insensitivity. Anyone who has seen a picture of the two know that they do not look alike. The entertainment industry needs to do better and that includes the industry reporting on it.