After the Oscars revealed all 20 of its actor nominees were white, everyone from Jada Pinkett Smith to David Oyelowo to even the President of The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences have voiced frustrations about the lack of diversity in the prestigious institution.
Now, George Clooney, the unofficial mayor of Hollywood, is adding his two cents — and he agrees that "we are moving in the wrong direction."
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Speaking to Variety, the Oscar winner said he thinks the lack of minority nominees is largely due to the little options minority actors have playing roles in "quality" films!
"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."
The Money Monster star admits the industry is "seeing some movement," crediting Jennifer Lawrence and Patricia Arquette's comments that shed light on Hollywood's gender pay gap.
But is it one step forward, two steps back?
Clooney remembered how the Academy was making strides with acknowledging African-American actors about 10 years ago, but has since moved backwards.
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"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."
Snubs aside, the 54-year-old made it clear that there should be "more opportunity" for minorities to play roles in Oscar-quality films, adding:
"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."
More opportunity, more nominations. Makes sense.
What do YOU think of Clooney's statements??
[Image via Ivan Nikolov/WENN.]
Tags: ava duvernay, david oyelowo, don cheadle, film flickers, george clooney, idris elba, jada pinkett smith, jennifer lawrence, morgan freeman, oscars, patricia arquette, will smith