Steven Spielberg Thinks People Should ‘Stop Blaming The Academy’ For #OscarsSoWhite Controversy — Check Out All His Strong Opinions HERE!

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Steven Spielberg is arguably the most powerful figure in Hollywood, so we’ve been waiting to hear what he had to say about the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.

In an interview for The Hollywood Reporter‘s “Awards Chatter” podcast, the 69-year-old said the entertainment industry needed to “stop blaming the Academy” for the lack of minority representation — echoing the statements of Whoopi Goldberg and George Clooney.

Related: Meryl Streep Reacts To #OscarsSoWhite By Saying ‘We’re All Africans’!

The three-time Oscar winner said he was a “huge supporter” of the Academy Awards, but, like most, was surprised that certain films and performances were not honored in this year’s nominees.

He explained:

“I was surprised at some of the individuals who were not nominated. I was surprised at [the exclusion of] Idris [Elba] ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ I was surprised at that. I think that was one of the best performances in the supporting actor and the actor category, was Idris. I’ve seen Straight Outta Compton ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ my wife and I saw it when it first opened, the first weekend, and it just rocked our world. It was incredible. I was very surprised to see that omission.”

But the filmmaker doesn’t think that an “inherent or dormant racism” is behind those omissions, citing Lupita Nyong’o‘s recent win for 12 Years a Slave.

As for the Academy’s response to the controversy, Spielberg admitted he’s “not 100 percent behind” the organization’s plan to taking votes away from older members in hopes of diversification, continuing:

“I do think that what the Academy is doing, in a proactive way, to open up the membership to diversity, I think that’s very, very important. But it’s not just the Academy, and I think we have to stop pointing fingers and blaming the Academy. It’s people that hire, it’s people at the main gate of studios and independents. It’s the stories that are being told. It’s who’s writing diversity ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ it starts on the page. And we all have to be more proactive in getting out there and just seeking talent.”

The Saving Private Ryan director also suggested the Academy change up its rules for Oscar campaigning, saying that studios shouldn’t be tempting voters with “enticements”.

Related: Sylvester Stallone Let Creed Director Decide If He Should Boycott The Oscars!

He added:

“I do think think the amount of, let’s just call it ‘gifts,’ the amount of ‘enticements,’ should be reduced to zero. I think the thing I’m against the most are enticements ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ people sending elaborate brochures and baskets. I think sending out a DVD of your movie is all we should be doing and nothing beyond that├óΓé¼┬ª.I don’t want to say I’m against having a good party, but there’s something about actual campaigning, where what you’re campaigning for has been forgotten and it’s [about] the power of persuasion over the power of the story and of the contributions … that’s what I’m sad about.”

We couldn’t agree more! There’s no argument that a film should be nominated based on the power of its story and performances, not luxurious dinners and parties!

Do YOU agree with the director’s comments?

[Image via Brian To/WENN.]

Feb 12, 2016 2:36pm PDT

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