Beyond the allegations of racism and rewarding Brand Names for Serious Intentions (Steven Spielberg's BRIDGE OF SPIES doesn't belong on the Best Picture Nominations list), there's the issue of comedy being largely ignored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Richard Brody discusses the "comedy doesn't show enough effort/gravitas/Serious Intentions" attitude of the Academy in his NEW YORKER article "The Baffling 2016 Oscar Nominees."
"The Best Director nominations go to three showy filmmakers (Adam McKay, George Miller, and Alejandro González Iñárritu) and two nearly invisible ones (Tom McCarthy and Lenny Abrahamson). McKay had the oddest inspiration of the five. He applied the freewheeling loopiness of his comedies (notably “Anchorman”) to a political subject, proving once more that comedy gets no respect—most significantly, in the absence of any nominations for “Trainwreck.” Outside of the oddball interpolations of star announcers in “The Big Short,” there’s hardly a giggle or a guffaw in any of the Best Picture nominees. (Leonardo DiCaprio gave one of the greatest comic performances in recent years in “The Wolf of Wall Street”; he’ll likely win an Oscar for his relentlessly grim grind through “The Revenant.”) Comedy that the Academy feels comfortable taking seriously, comedy that comes trademarked as topical—that’s what the members watch on TV or streaming. It’s exactly why the revitalization of big-screen comedy—a job that Judd Apatow took on a decade ago and is attempting all over again—is tougher than ever."