Los Angeles: Two-time Oscar winner George Clooney has penned an open letter expressing his frustration over the lack of diversity in this year’s Academy Awards nominations.
“If you think back 10 years ago, the Academy was doing a better job. Think about how many more African Americans were nominated.
“I would also make the argument, I don’t think it’s a problem of who you’re picking as much as it is: How many options are available to minorities in film, particularly in quality films,” Clooney said in a statement, reports variety.com.
Celebrities including Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee earlier announced that they were going to boycott this year’s Oscars ceremony after no people of colour were nominated in the main acting categories for the second year in a row.
“I think we have a lot of points we need to come to terms with…I think that African Americans have a real fair point that the industry isn’t representing them well enough. I think that’s absolutely true,” Clooney said.
“Let’s look back at some of the nominees. 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. There were nominations left off the table,” he added, mentioning films like “Creed”, “Concussion”, “Beasts of No Nation” and “Straight Outta Compton”.
Clooney said “there should be more opportunity than that”.
“There should be 20 or 30 or 40 films of the quality that people would consider for the Oscars. 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 concluded.
Earlier Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs also addressed the Oscars boycott in a statement expressing her own frustration.
The 88th Academy Awards will take place on February 28.