The Oscars 2016 have courted controversy due to the lack of African-American nominations despite some outstanding performances. The Academy has drawn so much criticism from every corner for its “all-white” nominations that “#OscarssoWhite” has exploded on Twitter.
Two-time Oscar winner and six-time nominee George Clooney has joined in to criticize the Academy. “If you think back 10 years ago, the Academy was doing a better job. Think about how many more African Americans were nominated. I think around 2004, certainly there were black nominees — like Don Cheadle, Morgan Freeman and all of a sudden, you feel like we’re moving in the wrong direction,” Clooney said in an interview with Variety.
“There were four films this year: ‘Creed’ could have gotten nominations, ‘Concussion’ could have gotten Will Smith a nomination. Idris Elba could have been nominated for ‘Beasts of No Nation’ and ‘Straight Outta Compton’ could have been nominated,” he added.
Clooney’s comments have come at a time when the Academy is facing a serious backlash from the fraternity. ANN recently reported that “Gotham” Star Jada Pinkett Smith will boycott Oscars 2016 over the lack of black nominees. According to ABC News, documentary maker Michael Moore is also set to join the boycott and civil rights leader Al Sharpton wants Americans to “tune out” the ceremony next month.
Clooney has also pointed out that the number of diverse nominees like African-Americans and other minorities has declined over the years. “By the way, we’re talking about African Americans. For Hispanics, it’s even worse. We need to get better at this. We used to be better at it,” he said in his interview to Variety.
Given the feedback, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Academy Awards president, released a statement on Monday stating she is heartbroken on account of lack of diversity. “While we celebrate their extraordinary achievements, I am both heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion. This is a difficult but important conversation, and it’s time for big changes,” she said according to Variety.