Selma actor David Oyelowo is speaking out against The Academy for the lack of diversity in all twenty acting nominations this year.
“The Academy has a problem,” the 39-year-old British actor said while presenting Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs with an award named after civil rights icon Rosa Parks at the King Legacy Awards on Monday (January 18). “It’s a problem that needs to be solved.”
“A year ago, I did a film called Selma, and after the Academy Awards, Cheryl invited me to her office to talk about what went wrong then,” David said. “We had a deep and meaningful [conversation]. 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.”
“The reason why the Oscars are so important is because it is the zenith, it is the epitome, it is the height of celebration of artistic endeavor within the filmmaking community. We grow up aspiring, dreaming, longing to be accepted into that august establishment because it is the height of excellence. I would like to walk away and say it doesn’t matter, but it does, because that acknowledgement changes the trajectory of your life, your career, and the culture of the world we live in,” David continued. “This institution 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.”
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