Until now, it seems as if only “Black Hollywood” had expressed outrage over the lack of diversity within this year’s Oscar nominations. Director Spike Lee, Jada Pinkett Smith and Rev. Al Sharpton have called for a boycott of the awards while the Academy’s 1st African American president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs said she’s “frustrated and heartbroken” at the lack of inclusion.
Now, one of the most renown (white) A-list actors, George Clooney is speaking up on behalf of the rampant problem. In an interview with Variety, the eight-time Oscar nominee and two-time winner had a lot to say about the way in which African American actors and films are overlooked by the Academy.
“If you think back 10 years ago, the Academy was doing a better job. Think about how many more African Americans were nominated. I would also make the argument, I don’t think it’s a problem of who you’re picking as much as it is: How many options are available to minorities in film, particularly in quality films? I think that African Americans have a real fair point that the industry isn’t representing them well enough. I think that’s absolutely true” said Clooney.
“Let’s look back at some of the nominees. I think around 2004, certainly there were black nominees — like Don Cheadle, Morgan Freeman. And all of a sudden, you feel like we’re moving in the wrong direction. There were nominations left off the table. There were four films this year: “Creed” could have gotten nominations; “Concussion” could have gotten Will Smith a nomination; Idris Elba could have been nominated for “Beasts of No Nation;” and “Straight Outta Compton” could have been nominated. And certainly last year, with “Selma” director Ava DuVernay — I think that it’s just ridiculous not to nominate her.”
He went on to say, “There should be 20 or 30 or 40 films of the quality that people would consider for the Oscars. By the way, we’re talking about African Americans. For Hispanics, it’s even worse. We need to get better at this. We used to be better at it.”
Actor David Oyelowo recently echoed Clooney’s sentiments. Ironically, during this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Oyelowo presented Isaacs with an honor named after Rosa Parks at the King Legacy Awards.
The actor deviated from his prepared speech to share that in 2015, he met with Isaacs following his “Best Actor” snub for “Selma”.
“We had a deep and meaningful [conversation]. For 20 opportunities to celebrate actors of color, actresses of color, to be missed last year is one thing; for that to happen again this year is unforgivable” he said.
Isaacs has been profusely apologetic about the outcome of the nominations when over 90% of the nearly 6,000 Academy members are white, 77% male with the average age being 63.
Oyelowo seemed to come to Isaacs’ defense in saying, “…This institution doesn’t reflect its president…I am an Academy member and it doesn’t reflect me” he added.
2015 Oscars Red Carpet Arrivals
1. Kevin Hart and Eniko Parrish1 of 43
2. Kelly Osbourne2 of 43
3. Giuliana Rancic3 of 43
4. Anna Kendrick4 of 43
5. Melanie Griffith and Dakota Johnson5 of 43
6. Kevin Hart6 of 43
7. Zendaya7 of 43
8. Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo8 of 43
9. Miles Teller and Keleigh Sperry9 of 43
10. Zoe Saldana10 of 43
11. Common11 of 43
12. Rita Ora12 of 43
13. Gina Rodriguez13 of 43
14. Rosamund Pike14 of 43
15. Chloe Grace Moretz15 of 43
16. Octavia Spencer16 of 43
17. Reese Witherspoon17 of 43
18. Viola Davis18 of 43
19. Chrissy Teigen and John Legend19 of 43
20. Lupita Nyong'o and Peter Nyong'o20 of 43
21. Solange Knowles21 of 43
22. Jennifer Hudson22 of 43
23. Jennifer Lopez23 of 43
24. Scarlett Johansson24 of 43
25. Kerry Washington25 of 43
26. Rita Ora26 of 43
27. Emma Stone and Jennifer Aniston27 of 43
28. Gwyneth Paltrow28 of 43
29. Emma Stone29 of 43
30. Jennifer Aniston30 of 43
31. Jessica Chastain31 of 43
32. Lady Gaga32 of 43
33. David Oyelowo33 of 43
34. Bradley Cooper34 of 43
35. Jared Leto35 of 43
36. Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham36 of 43
37. Keira Knightley and Lady Gaga37 of 43
38. Idris Elba and Isan Elba38 of 43
39. Eddie Murphy and Paige Butcher39 of 43
40. Meryl Streep40 of 43
41. Channing Tatum41 of 43
42. John Travolta and Scarlett Johansson42 of 43
43. Chrissy Teigen and John Legend43 of 43
George Clooney And David Oyelowo Address #OscarsSoWhite: ‘We’re Moving In The Wrong Direction’ was originally published on hellobeautiful.com