While Ice Cube seems unbothered by the N.W.A biopic, “Straight Outta Compton” being omitted from additional categories at this year’s Oscars, black community leaders have started to take proactive steps on the issue.
Following the Academy’s Thursday morning announcement of the 2016 Oscars nominees, Rev. Al Sharpton blasted the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for its blatant lack of diversity in this year's nominations.
“Hollywood is like the Rocky Mountains, the higher up you get the whiter it gets and this year’s Academy Awards will be yet another Rocky Mountain Oscars,” Sharpton said in a statement provided by the National Action Network. “Yet again, deserving black actors and directors were ignored by the Academy -- which reinforces the fact that there are few if any blacks with real power in Hollywood. Being left out of awards consideration is about more than just recognition for a job well-done; winning an Oscar has long-lasting cultural and economic impacts.”
Sharpton's comments weren't the first time he addressed the diversity problem in Hollywood. In 2014, after a leaked racist email exchange between then-Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal and a Hollywood producer were exposed, Sharpton met with Pascal to discuss plans to bring equality to the film industry.
Next month, Sharpton and the National Action Network intend to call out studios and film industry leaders “who aren’t living up to their obligations,” during a Hollywood Summit
The group’s Los Angeles chapter is also urging viewers to boycott the Oscar’s Feb. 28, telecast in an effort to impact the show’s ratings and advertising interest, according to the chapter’s political director Najee Ali.
“The lack of African Americans and women excluded from the major categories of Oscar nominees is appalling,” Ali said in a statement to The Wrap. “Cheryl Boone Issacs, the African-American president of the academy, is nothing but a pawn, and the black face of Hollywood’s system and culture that is racist, sexist and lacks true diversity.”
The 88th annual Academy Awards, hosted by Chris Rock, will air live on ABC on Feb. 28.
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