Ian McKellen On Oscar Diversity: Gays, Women Disregarded Too

According to the actor, minority groups in general get snubbed by the Academy.
Ian McKellen rides in the 2015 Gay Pride parade in New York City.
Ian McKellen rides in the 2015 Gay Pride parade in New York City.
Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx

Two-time Academy award nominee Ian McKellen is speaking out about the lack of recognition when it comes to diversity in Hollywood, specifically when it comes to the representation of queer people.

This year's Academy Awards are currently facing extensive backlash -- from media outlets to high-profile celebrities pledging boycotts -- for the lack of people of color nominated in the ceremony's top categories.

The openly gay actor recently discussed the controversy with Sky News, calling the criticism "legitimate," but also extending the conversation to the lack of recognition for other minority groups from Hollywood.

"As a representative of the industry they're in, [the Academy is] receiving complaints which I fully sympathize with," McKellen explained. "It's not only black people who've been disregarded by the film industry, it used to be women, it's certainly gay people to this day."

That being said, obviously women still have a ways to go when it comes to representation at the Oscars, with only one woman ever having won the award for Best Director.

A-list couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith are currently at the forefront of the discussion surrounding the white-washing of the Oscars, claiming that they will boycott the ceremony. Pinkett Smith recently shared her decision in a video posted to Facebook, currently at over 11 million views.

"These are all legitimate complaints and the Oscars are the focus of those complaints," McKellen continued.

While more and more queer talent in front of and behind the camera continue to be recognized by Hollywood, the entertainment industry still has a long way to go when it comes to queer representation. In 2015 alone the lack of nominations for the indie transgender hit "Tangerine" and acclaimed lesbian drama "Carol" being snubbed for best picture have drawn outrage from the queer community.

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