Among those voicing their disappointment was the Rev. Al Sharpton, who issued his thoughts on the situation in a statement.
“The lack of diversity in Thursday’s Oscar nominations is appalling, and while it is good that Selma was nominated for ‘Best Picture,’ it’s ironic that they nominated a story about the racial shutout around voting while there is a racial shutout around the Oscar nominations,” the MSNBC host said in his statement. “With all of the talent in “Selma” and other Black movies this year, it is hard to believe that we have less diversity in the nominations today than in recent history.”
“The movie industry is like the Rocky Mountains, the higher you get, the whiter it gets,” Sharpton added.
Although “Selma” was nominated for Best Picture and Best Original Song for the Common and John Legend tune “Glory,” Ava DuVernay, was snubbed for Best Director, as well as the film’s star David Oyelowo, who didn’t receive a nod for Best Actor.
The Academy’s lack of diversity will be the focus of an “emergency meeting” Sharpton is calling with his Hollywood task force early next week “to discuss possible action around the Academy Awards,” Mediaite.com reports. Similar meetings were held by the National Action Network head in December to address racially charged comments made by Sony Pictures head Amy Pascal and producer Scott Rudin made in leaked emails.
Sharpton further emphasized his point in an interview with the New York Daily News, as he referenced the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner to illustrate why he felt the lack of Oscar nominations for black actors was such a misstep.
“In the time of Staten Island and Ferguson, to have one of the most shutout Oscar nights in recent memory is something that is incongruous,” Sharpton said. “The only category we’re well represented is in the best picture nomination and it’s a movie about blacks being shut out of society. And now we’re shut out of Hollywood.”