Ava DuVernay, Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo and Common were in Los Angeles for the Critics' Choice Movie Awards on Thursday night, but on Friday afternoon they're invited to an intimate screening of "Selma" at the White House. The special event was announced late Thursday, hours after the film was snubbed in several prominent Oscar categories, including Best Director (DuVernay, who would have been the first female African-American nominee) and Best Actor (Oyelowo).
USA Today reports that the screening had been planned for a while to commemorate the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. That makes it sound like the White House's response isn't centered on the movie's Oscar snub despite the last-minute announcement. Either way, "Selma" joins "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," "Lincoln," "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Cesar Chavez: An American Hero" on the list of films the Obamas have screened on Pennsylvania Avenue. Its cast and crew are expected to attend, but there's no official word on whether DuVernay, Winfrey and company will travel to D.C. for the event.
This news follows many explosive headlines about the Oscars' lack of diversity this year. Not a single actor or actress of color was nominated, and no females cracked the directing or screenplay categories.