Last year, David Oyelowo was arguably the biggest Oscars snub for not receiving a nomination for playing Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma.
After it was revealed that all 20 of this year’s nominees were white, the Captive star has joined other A-listers and put the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences on blast for lack of diversity!
At a gala honoring Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs on Monday night, the 39-year-old broke away from his prepared speech as he was presenting the president with an award, saying:
“The Academy has a problem. It’s a problem that needs to be solved… 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.”
Oyelowo explained that the current Academy “doesn’t reflect its president and it doesn’t reflect this room. I am an Academy member and it doesn’t reflect me, and it doesn’t reflect this nation.”
Using the Civil Rights Movement as an example of prompt effective change, the actor said there was no reason that the Academy couldn’t move quicker, specifically promising that “change is going to come” by February 28 — the date of the award show.
Idris Elba is also joining the conversation about lack of diversity in entertainment — specifically highlighting that it isn’t only Hollywood’s problem.
The Luther star is spoke on a lack of diversity across British television on Monday in London, citing that black actors are struggling to thrive in the U.K. too. He said:
“People in the TV world often aren’t the same as people in the real world. And there’s an even bigger gap between people who make TV, and people who watch TV. I should know, I live in the TV world. And although there’s a lot of reality TV, TV hasn’t caught up with reality. Change is coming, but it’s taking its sweet time.”
The 43-year-old used his own career as an example, admitting that he had to move to the U.S. because he was never going to get a lead role if he stayed in Britain.
Speaking on the glass ceiling for black actors in the U.K., he explained:
“I knew I wasn’t going to land a lead role. I knew there wasn’t enough imagination in the industry for me to be seen as a lead. In other words, if I wanted to star in a British drama like Luther, then I’d have to go to a country like America. And the other thing was, because I never saw myself on TV, I stopped watching TV. Instead I decided to just go out and become TV.”
It’s clear lack of diversity in the entertainment world is a huge problem across the board.
We’re glad this conversation is finally starting to surface, and we look forward to seeing much needed change!
[Image via Getty Images.]