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Academy Members Respond to Oscars 2016 Lack of Diversity, Speak Out About Racism

Academy Members Respond to Oscars 2016 Lack of Diversity, Speak Out About Racism

Some members of the Academy are speaking out about the lack of diversity in the acting categories for the upcoming 2016 Oscars.

“I voted for a number of black performers, and I was sorry they weren’t nominated,” The Artist’s Penelope Ann Miller told THR. “But to imply that this is because all of us are racists is extremely offensive. I don’t want to be lumped into a category of being a racist because I’m certainly not and because I support and benefit from the talent of black people in this business. It was just an incredibly competitive year.”

“I loved Beasts of No Nation, and I loved Idris Elba in it – I just think not enough people saw it, and that’s sometimes what happens. Straight Outta Compton was a great film; I think it just lost some Academy members who are older. There were a lot of omissions of white people that I think were just as disappointing – I’m sure [Spotlight's] Michael Keaton is bummed, you know?” Penelope continued.

Another member of the Academy, who chose to remain anonymous, told the publication, “I’m very offended by the idea that some people are calling us racists – race was the furthest thing from my mind when I cast my ballot, and in fact I nominated one person of color for an award. Such a sweeping declaration is extremely irresponsible.”

Click inside to read what one writer told THR about the #OscarsSoWhite movement…

“I cannot prove the Academy or anyone else is not racist,” writer Jeremy Larner said. “I have voted for many people of color for awards.” He adds, “I happen to think Straight Outta Compton is not a great film for reasons of structure and substance. I can imagine it is a powerful affirmation for those who share the assumptions of its music and see it as fans. But to me, a good film has to show a lot more than this one does.”

“It is not a time to make enemies among those who would move us further in the direction of fairness, freedom and justice,” Jeremy said. Penelope continued, “There were an incredible number of films in 2015 that were primarily about white people. Talk to the studios about changing that, not the Academy. There’s only so much we can do. I think when you make race the issue, it can divide people even further, and that’s what I worry about.”

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Posted to: 2016 Oscars

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