David Oyelowo says it’s “unforgivable” that there are no black actors featured in this year’s Oscar nominations.
The ‘Selma’ actor became the latest star to speak out about the lack of diversity among the 2016 honorees, and said he is stunned that Hollywood has had the same problem for two consecutive years.
He said: “The Academy has a problem. It’s a problem that needs to be solved. A year ago, I did a film called Selma, and after the Academy Awards, Cheryl [Academy president Boone Isaacs] invited me to her office to talk about what went wrong then. We had a deep and meaningful conversation. For 20 opportunities to celebrate actors of colour, actresses of colour, to be missed last year is one thing; for that to happen again this year is unforgivable.
“I am an Academy member and it doesn’t reflect me, and it doesn’t reflect this nation.”
While speaking at the King Legacy Awards on Monday night, David highlighted the amount of diversity currently on our screens.
He continued: “We have a situation whereby currently the biggest movie in the world and of all time [‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’] is led by a black man. That film was knocked off the top spot this weekend by a film led by two black men, ‘Ride Along 2’. The biggest TV show on the planet is led by black people, ‘Empire’.
“The Academy is an institution in which they all say radical and timely change cannot happen quickly. It better happen quickly. The law of this country can change in a matter of months. It better come on. The Oscars is on February 28. “Cheryl needs us to pray that by that date, change is going to come. We need to pray for Cheryl, we need to support Cheryl, we need to love Cheryl. We cannot afford to get bitter, we cannot afford to get negative. But we must make our voice heard.”
Jada Pinkett Smith, Spike Lee and Idris Elba are among the other stars to speak out about the issue, with many calling for this year’s host Chris Rock to step down.