George Clooney discusses #OscarsSoWhite: ‘We need to get better at this’

wenn23152655

I go back and forth on this: in the ongoing conversations and controversies about #OscarsSoWhite, is it a good thing or a bad thing that white celebrity allies are entering the conversation? I think it’s a mixed bag. It’s good to know that white allies will publicly stand up for diversity, but it also feels like the media treats the issue differently – as in, with more respect – once white celebrities chime in. It’s a conversation that’s been centered around Chris Rock, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Spike Lee, David Oyelowo and other black artists, and is that the way it should be? Should the conversation be insular, within communities of color? Or should it be a larger conversation amongst artists of color and white artists?

I ask these questions because George Clooney has just entered the conversation, like the proverbial white knight. To be fair to Clooney, Variety makes it clear that they approached him for his take on the situation, and they’re the ones calling him a “Hollywood statesman.” Here’s his statement about #OscarsSoWhite:

“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?

I think we have a lot of points we need to come to terms with. I find it amazing that we’re an industry that in the 1930s, most of our leads were women. And now a woman over 40 has a very difficult time being a lead in a movie. We’re seeing some movement. Jennifer Lawrence and Patricia Arquette have made the loud pronouncement about wage disparity, have put a stamp on the idea that we got to pay attention. But we should have been paying attention long before this. 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.

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. 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. And certainly last year, with “Selma” director Ava DuVernay — I think that it’s just ridiculous not to nominate her.

But honestly, 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.”

[From Variety]

I was looking through the list of black Oscar winners and nominees throughout the history of the Oscars, and I think an argument can be made that there is an ebb and flow with diversity being recognized and rewarded. That argument was made last year by none other than Spike Lee as well, that some years are just more diverse, and that some years it feels like every nominee is white. But two years in a row with potentially great and worthy options for diverse nominees getting snubbed, it does feel like the Academy is going backwards.

I also have to give Clooney some credit for not pretending to be the white savior. He doesn’t have the answers and he’s not pretending he has the answers. It’s good that he’s acknowledging the problem though.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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160 Responses to “George Clooney discusses #OscarsSoWhite: ‘We need to get better at this’”

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  1. Guest says:

    Oh please…. Now THE PR KING spoke as well…..I am rolling my eyes now.

    • als says:

      You mean The President.

    • CLINIQUA. says:

      George speaks out at the drop of a hat. He was on the phone when Diana died lashing out at papz, and is always weighing in…so it would be odd if he didn’t say something.

      He is right, we are going backwards, then again the rightwing has made it their full time job to grow their base and make white people angrier at their black President and by association all other black people and POC in general over the last eight years. So I’m not surprised that would have a trickle down effect, everywhere. Certain people overall, are a lot less tolerant and inclusive these days.

      • Wentworth Miller says:

        Who’s Diana? I’m wondering how many non whites these people that are speaking out, cast in any of their movies. I mean you don’t have a leg to stand on if your also part of the problem.

      • V4Real says:

        She’s referring to Princess Diana

    • Alex says:

      Maybe GC could help the issue by castin more diverse in his OWN films…just a thought

    • ctgirl says:

      Yes George, you and the other members of the Academy need th do better so that things will get better. Get on that instead of talking about it.

    • snakecharmer says:

      srssly that is so pathetic and meaningless coming from this guy… “we need to get better at this” what is he a middle school superintendent from the midwest?!? gtfo with that george. he is so pc its ridic…

  2. GiGi says:

    Um, I guess it’s good that he’s speaking out… but he hasn’t cast a POC in any of his last 4 movies (that he directed).

    • embertine says:

      Absolutely. It’s all very well blasting the Academy (quite rightly in my view) for not nominating a more diverse slate, but if POC aren’t even getting the roles in the first place then that’s where the problem needs to be addressed as the ground level. Casting directors and exec producers are, IMO, greatly to blame for this situation.

      Walk the walk, Clooney.

      • Mimi says:

        Idris Elba is the only person I thought should have been nominated. I am not a fan of Wil Smith and find him to be very wooden. Straight Outta Compton, in my opinion, was not good enough to warrant any acting noms.

      • Leah says:

        Mimi
        I find stallone to be very wooden. If he was nominated then will smith could be too. Not to mention several other black actors like Michael B Jordan who is clearly a more gifted actor then Stallone.

    • Esther says:

      exactly and how many lauded female characters are in his movies?

      George has the power and influence to change somethnig and he has a very big mouth about it “Hollywood has always been ahead of the curve” (brilliantly spoofed on South Park) but what does he actually do?

      you cant blame most of the actors, they cant do anything about it and need to be careful not to piss off the wrong people. George could though.

      • lilacflowers says:

        Actually, the actors are the ones who vote for the acting nominees. Clooney is an AMPAS voter. Did he vote for Will Smith or Idris Elba?

      • GiGi says:

        This is true at the SAGs, but the Academy is made up from people across the industry – mostly power players (read: old white men). But, yes, I would guess that Clooney is an Academy voter.

      • Bridget says:

        Nominations are branch specific, aside from Best Pic. So the actors branch is responsible for the Oscars acting noms

      • lilacflowers says:

        @GIGI, the “old white men and everybody else get to nominate Best Picture” For the other category nominations, voting takes place within those categories. Costume people vote for costumes; film editors vote for film editors; directors vote for directors; sound engineers vote in the sound categories. Only actors cast the vote for acting nominations and there are just as many actresses as actors because anyone who is ever nominated in an acting category gets to vote for the nominations for the acting categories. For the Oscars themselves, everyone votes in every category but the actual nominations, just the actors choose those 20 slots.

        And yes, Clooney is an Academy voter because he has been nominated for and won an Oscar. The nomination brings AMPAS voting membership.

      • noway says:

        All former Oscar nominees are invited to be academy members along with others in the industry. The other members generally have to be in the industry a while to get an invitation if you do not get a nomination, and this might be where it gets skewed so old. Quick fix for the Oscars change the non-nominated membership invitation criteria. Not like that was set in stone, and it could change the dynamic. It is branch specific so Clooney would vote for acting categories, writing, directing and best picture as he has been nominated in the three categories.

        In fairness to Clooney with the women issue, he did change a lead in a movie from a man to a woman for Sandra Bullock, but you are right about him not casting many POC in his movies. My question is why do people think that so many parts are race or gender specific? Yes it does happen, but I think you could probably do that less often and go with a good actor and have a better movie.

      • Jayna says:

        Two movies he produced the woman was a lead, that wasn’t originally written for a woman to be the lead, but a man. That woman was Sandra Bullock. Gravity and Our Brand is Crisis. She was like 48 and 50 when she did those two movies.

      • V4Real says:

        @Jayna thanks for pointing that out. I was about to type the same until I read your comment. Anthony Mackie was also in Our Brand is Crisis along and with the ensemble cast that featured Blacks as well as Latinos in the film. Come to think of it there were over six Latinos in that film.

      • lilacflowers says:

        @noway, people who have eligibility for more than one category have to choose one of the categories for the nomination process. They can’t vote in multiple categories other than one selected category and Best Picture.

        Example: Emma Thompson has an Oscar as a screenwriter and an Oscar as an Actress but she cannot vote to nominate in both the acting and screenwriting categories. She has to choose one or the other.

      • noway says:

        I’ll give him credit for not pulling a Ridley Scott Exodus/Gods and Kings fiasco, but the movie was about an election in Latin America if he didn’t have Latin American actors that would be pretty bad. I also give him credit for changing it from a male lead to a female lead, but generally his movies are pretty lily white. I don’t think that is his intention, but maybe he will look to change that with this discussion. The only problem I have with his comments is in Shakespeare day men played women and it just didn’t matter. Why couldn’t POC been cast in many of the movies that were nominated this year? It sounds almost like we need more African American movies and that will solve the problem. I am not disagreeing that we should have more African American movies but how about more people cast where color wasn’t a consideration.

      • Bridget says:

        @jayna: very true about Our Brand Is Crisis, but while Gravity may have started out as 2 men, it changed pretty early on because they considered a lot of actresses for the part. Including at one point Scarlett Johansson or Blake Lively.

      • Josefina says:

        Our Brand is Crisis was a terribly racist movie and as a Chilean woman, seeing my Bolivian neighbors portrayed that way was very offensive. I don’t care how many latino actors were employed, the movie quite explictly portrayed us as this uncivilized and uncultured dumb but kind people in dire need of saving. Saving only a white, intelligent person could provide. Not to mention the hilarious historical innacuracy – the nominee Sandra Bullock was representing in real life murdered thousands of people and stole millions of dollars from Bolivian people. And now he’s portrayed as a hero because he’s an American ally?

        5 centuries ago Europe came uninvited to our lands, killing everything in it’s way and robbing us of our culture, replacing it for their “superior” and “civilized” white culture. Now the USA comes in and tells our stories the way they see fit to match their interests and make money. Gross. Good thing that disgusting excuse of a film bombed.

      • sasha says:

        @Jayna
        Clooney didn’t produce Gravity.

    • Prairiegirl says:

      Maybe Matt Damon helped write Clooney’s response.

    • Denisemich says:

      This isn’t true. Anthony Mackie was in the last film he produced. Jeffrey Wright was in Ides of March, which Clooney directed.

      He isn’t perfect but he has more diversity in his movies than say Matt Damon.

      Let’s remember his hottest movie co-starred JLO as his love interest.

    • Kaiser says:

      While I agree that Clooney definitely needs to embrace diversity, he also actively campaigned for Viola Davis the last time she was nominated for an Oscar (when she was against Meryl Streep, who won that year). He has work to do, but he’s not all bad.

      • Catelina says:

        Viola and him have been friends for a long time so that’s not surprising. He likes to support/cast his friends.

    • Kate says:

      Jeffrey Wright was in Ides of March and there were some African American supporting characters in Leatherheads.

      Still a poor record there no question, but I wanted to mention Jeffrey because it always seems like he’s overlooked. He’s such a great actor.

      • Marny says:

        Absolutely- did you see Basquiat? He was AMAZING in that movie.

      • V4Real says:

        Not so poor. Anthony Mackie and Starlette Miariaunii was in Our Brand is Crisis. There were also over six Latinos in that movie including Michelle Torres, Erick Chavarria and Joaquim de Almeida.

        There were two Black actors in The Men Who Stares at Goats. His upcoming movie Money Monster has a few Blacks and Latinos including Condola Rashad (Phylicia Rashad’s daughter) and Giancarlo Esposito.

        And I don’t think anyone would have expected to see Blacks in Argo or The Monument Men.

        And though it’s not a movie let’s not forget he was the one to produce Hope For Haiti.

      • VirgiliaCoriolanus says:

        @V4Real
        Except the lead for Argo was of Mexican descent and he looked it…..yet Ben Affleck cast himself.

      • V4Real says:

        @Virgina I get that. But Mariane Pearl was biracial, by law Black but Angelina Jolie played her. Steve Lopez was Italian and Hispanic but Robert Downey Jr. played him in The Soloist.

      • Bridget says:

        I can appreciate that Clooney has at least cast some diverse supporting actors, but his leads have all been either white men or Sandra Bullock (who is a proven superstar) – David Strathairn, John Krasinski, Ryan Gosling, Billy Bob Thornton, and of course George Clooney. He can do better, and part of that is because he’s in the rare position of actually being able to affect change. He’s one of the guys that actually makes the movies.

    • CLINIQUA. says:

      Some people in positions of power think they’re slick, they stay making ‘period dramas,’ to avoid dealing with/casting not only minorities but also actresses to portray women in positions of authority.

    • Luca76 says:

      Yeah he’s directed and produced some of the least diverse movies. And played the part Hawaiian (ahem) lead in The Descendants which had no speaking roles for actual native Hawaiians.

      • word says:

        See this is what I hate. If the character is supposed to be Hawaiian, then please hire a Hawaiian ! Same as if the character is supposed to be half Asian, do NOT get a white girl to play her (I’m looking at you Emma Stone). Not to mention in the Martian they had a white actress play the role of Mindy Park (Asian in the novel) and Chiwetel played the character of Venkat (Indian), though they changed the name to Vincent for the movie. Now what was the need for this? Why couldn’t they hire an Asian girl and Indian guy to play those roles like it was intended in the novel? That’s b.s.

  3. Maya says:

    I would actually believe him if he hired actors from other etnicities in his movies instead of talking about what happened 15 years ago.

    Take a look at Brad Pitt – he doesn’t go on and on about these things but instead actually produces movies with non Caucasian actors/actresses in lead roles. He shows his support through his work.

    • noway says:

      Kind of ironic too, that Clooney is thought of as the Hollywood Spokesman the intellectual, and Pitt not so much. Yet Pitt is one who executive produces Selma and 12 years of a Slave, and does try to change it a bit from the inside, or maybe he is just making good stories and doesn’t think about that part of it.

      • CLINIQUA. says:

        @NOWAY

        Pitt is very smart, he’s also better educated than Clooney (I don’t think George has any college, I could be wrong) – that said, acquiring good stories, and being socially responsible when it comes to equal opportunities in film, are not mutually exclusive things.

        One need only look at Pitt’s life, his Jolie Pitt foundation, his children, his helping to rebuild and sustain the predominantly African American lower 9th in NOLA post Katrina, and the films he chooses to do – also his commentary on the hypocrisy of the part of the Bible belt where he grew up (MO), praising the lord, while being racist against your neighbor – to know, he’s much more of a ‘walks the walk,’ type of man.

      • noway says:

        I am sorry I didn’t mean to imply that I think Pitt isn’t smart, just that his image isn’t, and George is thought of as the more intellectual. Along with Angelina pulling all the strings for Pitt, which I think isn’t correct either, My point was the image isn’t really correct, and maybe we should all be a little more suspect of this.

      • Maya says:

        @ Noway – I understood what you meant, George is seen as the intellectual while Brad as the dumb pretty boy. that they are not what they are being perceived by the public and are Infact the opposite.

      • word says:

        Ok but Twelve Years a Slave and Selma required Black actors. He had no choice there. What I’d like to see are movies where the ethnicity of the characters is irrelevant. That a Black, Chinese, Indian, Mexican, etc. actor is hired because they are a good actor and not because “the role required it”.

      • pwal says:

        Adepero Oduye, who was Eliza in 12YAS, was also in The Big Short as Kathy, Mark Baum’s boss. I have no idea if Kathy was Black in real life, but Plan B tend to maintain relationships with actors, regardless of race, who are good, but not necessarily big names… yet.

    • V4Real says:

      But it wasn’t just Brad who produced those movies. He was only an executive producer on Selma and a producer on 12 years.

      Clooney might not have produced an entire movie with a Black cast but he has produced movies with women in the lead and his ensemble cast in some of his movies have been Black and Latinos.

      • Catelina says:

        Nobody said Brad was the ONLY producer on those movies. But they were produced under HIS production company that he owns, so they were under his oversight and he is comparable to George in terms of celebrity/fame/clout, unlike the other producers on those Plan B movies. He brings extra attention to movies he backs. Clooney is not the sole producer on his movies either.

      • CLINIQUA. says:

        @V4Real

        Brad Pitt’s production Co. ‘PLAN B,’ (B for Brad, Lol) produced both Selma and 12 Years.

        Don’t know why you’re trying to minimize the man’s involvement when he’s responsible for the fruition of those projects and their selection and the cast and crew were constantly thanking him onstage.

      • noway says:

        Look at Clooney’s movie’s he produced and then look at Pitt’s movies he produced. Pitt’s are far more diverse in casts. As far as producers they are very similar in level both producing 30+ films or tv shows, and both similar power levels with similar co-producers.

      • Maya says:

        Steve McQueen himself said that 12 years of slave would never have been made without Brad.

        So why are you trying to diminish Brad’s involvement in Plan B? He is the sole owner of Plan B after having bought out Jennifer and Brad Grey 11 years.

        Plan B has now been nominated 3 times in a row for best movie at the Oscars and won one.

      • V4Real says:

        I’m not trying to diminish anything,just stating the obvious. I was also responding to what Maya said about Clooney not having any other race or ethnicities in his produced films, which isn’t true.

    • Lizzie McGuire says:

      I really like his response, I really do. What he is saying is on point of what’s happening in films right now. But I agree with you, he’s a producer & a big movie star respected by everyone. He could help with this diversity problem by casting more Latinos or black actors in his movies.

      As for Pitt, I’m not surprised by that. Maybe he can tell Clooney to start doing the same. He’s producing great films & casting good actors, Pitt is leading a change, he’s not taking credit but he’s quietly supporting it. That’s how it should be done.

    • Tarla says:

      I know you are a BA and AJ fan but even they are not as diverse as you think. AJ has never put in any black star in her directed features and she also doesn’t help out fellow women directors either.

  4. ShinyGrenade says:

    Shame on the Oscar, really.

    As for the Hispanics, remember when Benicio Del Toro won at Cannes for Che, so, one would have thought he would be nominated for an Oscar? Nope. Did not happen.

    • Naya says:

      Che is one of my favorite films and Benicio was excellent in it . And lets be real here, Benicio is always excellent. Its unbelievable to me that he doesnt have a trophy but Bradley Cooper keeps showing up for some reason.

      • Tash says:

        I couldn’t agree with you more. Benicio is always great even if a movie sucks and Bradley…I just don’t get it.

      • lilacflowers says:

        Benicio has an Oscar for Traffic. He was also nominated for 21 Grams. He should have been nominated for Sicario this year.

        When he won for Traffic; Benicio became only the third Puerto Rican to win an Oscar.

      • Naya says:

        @lilacflowers

        Thanks for the correction. I misread the top comment to mean he didnt have a nomination at all, which would be an outrage for obvious reasons. Lets be clear though, Benicio should have a Best Actor win. A Supporting Actor win is very much the best maid award and often feels like a half hearted appeasement award. Benicio has earned the right to be the bride. But then I doubt he’ll ever have the kind of Oscar push Leo is getting, no matter how great he is with the material.

      • serena says:

        DITTO. let’s not even begin with Bradley Cooper..

    • Kate says:

      The way Che was released hurt it. The two seperate films and then the condensed version…that killed it’s Oscar chances right there. The Academy didn’t know how to deal with two films that make a whole, and the condensed version was a bit of a hack job.

      Benicio is an Oscar winner though (Best Supporting actor for Traffic) and he was nominated for 21 Grams.

      • noway says:

        This is the thing with the Oscars too, any kind of deviation from the norm and they ignore it. I think this added to Idris Elba’s issue with the netflix film. Also, I think people like Spike Lee and his teaching at film school is so important. People now see a path to working in the industry, and if the academy could nominate more diverse people others might see a brighter path too. The reality is there are less POC as actors, directors and movie industry people in general, because most people aren’t dumb and if you see little opportunity in a field you are not going to go in it. Think about it, why are so many women teachers, partially because it was a field where women could more easily find a job. Even now as women get other jobs that decades ago they wouldn’t get, it is still a predominantly female career path in primary and secondary schools. Most people aren’t going to have Clooney’s success and they need to eat so they are going to eventually land in a career that will pay them something. We need to find a way to make real opportunities in all fields for people.

      • ShinyGrenade says:

        Indeed, he won for Traffic. Supporting Actor.
        He was main in Che. He was amazing, and why was he not nominated?

        And indeed, why awful Bradley Cooper gets nominated all the time?

        And indeed, as Noway said, if tje format if not the usual thing, movies get snub. Beats of no Nation deserved nomination. Idris Elda deserved a nomination.

        Or even, the Academy has issue with action movie. Why is JLaw again nominated for awful Joy, but Charlize Theron is not for Mad Max? A “action” role is not worthy?

        Pffffffffffff. Oscars are shit.

    • Bridget says:

      If I remember correctly, the issue with Che was that it was Soderberg doing his ‘experimental’ schtick. That movie was doomed the moment they chose to release it as two separate 2 plus hour movies.

      An interesting question is, would a subject like Lincoln have ever been considered potentially as an ‘artsy’ subject? Had ‘Che’ been a white main character, would there have been more of a push to have the movie be packaged more traditionally, and thus more palatable to awards voters?

  5. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    Why are we going backwards? I can’t understand what’s happening or why.

  6. Pinky says:

    Too bad he has lost a lot of his relevance and cred. The real question is, what does Amal think?

    I think allies unless they’re criminals, should always be welcome.

  7. Sixer says:

    I think allies should speak out. But, as you say, Kaiser, the problem is that they will get pushed to the front – not even by themselves but the fact that their words are given more weight by the media establishment. And that’s all wrong. They should probably just say, “X, Y and Z people of colour have already said it better than me. Quote them. I support them all the way.”

    • Shambles says:

      Completely agree. It would be nice if he was aware of the fact that, by answering this question at all, he now shifts the focus onto himself whether he meant to or not. That’s just the way it is. Had he been aware of that fact, he could have used the opportunity to bring attention to some of the very valuable opinions that won’t be as widely reported on because the person they came from wasn’t white.

      • Sixer says:

        Exactly. I still think he (and everyone else) should speak up, though. It seems to me that it’s got so ridiculous now that the only thing to sort it will be a critical mass of voices. So everyone is needed. It’s just the white voices need to be a bit careful to ensure they don’t get amplified – they need to be um, not the soloists but the chorus, if that makes sense.

      • Kirtten says:

        True, but acknowledging that white people are at the root of the problem and you’re both overlooking one sad fact: white people generally listen to other white people more than black folks, even when it’s a race issue, sometimes even MORE so. By that I mean that a lot of white people will dismiss PoC’s concerns regarding race as “whining”, “playing the race card” “living in the past” or whatever other way they can to dispose of valid concerns.

        I’m obviously excluding the good readers of Celebitchy from this generalization, but let’s face it, white people seem to get through to each other more than black people get through to *some* white people.
        That being said, those type of people probably don’t care too much about what George Clooney has to say so….meh.

        Maybe you have a point.

        Still, I’m not going to criticize Clooney on this. He used his celebrity to talk about something important, to speak out. Maybe he didn’t do it the perfect way that we would all approve of but at least it’s something.

        EDIT: Just saw your second comment, Sixer. I think we’re in agreement.

      • Sixer says:

        Kitten

        I used to volunteer and fundraise for a BAME (is that just a UK term? Or do you use it stateside too? Black and Minority Ethnic, if you don’t) women’s DV and honour coercion charity back in London. It’s a balance, being an ally. Help, speak up – yes. Get in front of the people you’re speaking up for – no.

        Anyway. Funnily enough, I just read this blog by a UK undergraduate at the LSE. I think she wraps it up as to why it’s all so important: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/researchingsociology/2016/01/20/should-sociologists-care-about-oscarssowhite/

        ETA: Also, I would like to mention that as I speak up, at least part of it is for selfish reasons. I’m mostly interested in storytelling in all its forms. And a lack of diversity means I get a crappier choice than I otherwise would. More truthful, interesting, diverse stories would also benefit ME. I, Sixer, would be better off.

      • Kitten says:

        That link was a great, succinct summary of the underlying issues of #oscarssowhite. Thanks for sharing that.

        ITA with white peeps not inserting ourselves into every race-related conversation as a “spokesperson” in an attempt to “save” (ugh) PoCs.

        It’s a fine line between ally and white savior and one that I’m all-to-aware of to the point where I’ve become a lot more self-conscious about speaking up. I think that’s ok though. It’s ok to be a silent supporter. Do I think it’s important to be an ally when surrounded by ignorant white folks with no PoCs in sight? Yeah. I think that can be effective in and of itself–to give a voice and lend support or even be the lone dissenter when PoCs and minorities aren’t there to defend themselves.

        But I do think that well-intentioned white people often times inadvertently steal that podium (I’m including myself in this) in a passionate attempt to educate others, not realizing that we’re effectively co-opting someone else’s cause and making their pain ours, all the while enjoying our white privilege.

        As I said, it’s a fine line. I consider myself an ally, but certainly not a spokesperson.

      • Sixer says:

        Ack. All too easy to become a well-intentioned evangelical, I agree! Heart in the right place, but gob in all the wrong ones. Been there, got the t-shirt. It probably helps if you’re not a loudmouth (like me!) to begin with!

      • Bridget says:

        I don’t mind Clooney speaking up (this isn’t the first time he’s done it) but… a little bit of self awareness would go a long way. He MAKES movies himself, so perhaps that’s a great place to start. How about more diversity in the leads of your movies, Clooney? How about hiring an actor or actress of color for one of your awards-baity parts? Or even make more movies starring women?

  8. Naya says:

    He did good. The black artists who are speaking up are being demonized and even being chastised for daring to ask others to speak up too. The same thing happened when some actresses speak up about Hollywood. Its all, “shut the hell up and be grateful we even let you in the room”. The fact is it takes people who are not directly affected by the problem to speak up before an issue can go mainstream. So white-knight or not, I am grateful for Clooney.

    Also, where are all these Hollywood mega power-players with black children? Equality should concern everybody but more so when you are raising a child who is locked out of opportunities because of their skin color. The way black people in Hollywood are received on this issue is always going to be different from how white power players will be received. So I’m waiting for Brad, Angelina, Tom, Sandra, Charlize and company.

    • harlequin says:

      Brad Pitt produced Twelve Years A Slave and Selma. That speaks for itself, I think. I also remember Angelina speaking out about having an African Disney princess.

      • Red says:

        No it doesnt. Doing “your part” includes speaking out too. Especially when you have as much clout as these people. If I were a member of a privilleged class and my child was not, there is no wall I wouldnt pull down to change that – or die trying. Adopting a child of color comes with great responsibility and guess what, you dont get to say “but I did X yesterday, why do I have to Y today?” If you have influence, we expect you to use ALL of it, not just some of it. And you know what? This is why we suspect a lot of these Hollywooders of using children of color as accessories to bolster their images. A parent who loves their child is always doing EVERYTHING within their power, and these peoples words have power, to change things. We shouldnt have to explain this to them.

      • pwal says:

        I beg to differ. Doing something is much better than speaking about it. And given that Brad and Angelina don’t ‘speak’ about it but instead, let the writer/director/subject of the film (assuming that the film is based on a real person)/actors and actresses speak about it, after the film is made, submitted to festivals and screened in theaters, that is much, MUCH BETTER!!! Because the very moment that either of them speak on this issue, their motives will be immediately questioned and they would be deemed as being white saviors.

        And frankly, I think that the fact that Brad and Angelina encourages their children to remain connected to their birthplaces and participate in activities that further connect them to their birthplaces and ethnicity is way more important that satisfying those with selective perceptions and recollections of how they are raising and supporting their children.

    • noway says:

      In fairness Clooney just responded to an interview question whereas the others you mentioned aren’t really promoting any film now it may seem to some to be PR if they came out about this issue now. Also some of the people you mentioned actually help more by changing the industry and making some films with POC or different ethnicity. Brad and Angelina have produced or made some of the more diverse casts and movies in the last decade. Selma, 12 Years of a Slave, In the Land of Milk and Honey, and they are not just hiring the token African American actor who is already pseudo accepted in the mainstream either. They are hiring newcomers like Lupito Nyongo. I think that criticism is a bit misinformed.

      • harlequin says:

        I agree with you, noway. Angelina has been directing films with unknown casts of different ethnicities. She and Brad, they actually DO things, and not just say things.

      • Red says:

        And what good are all the roles in the world, if the Academy shuts them out for consideration? Better still, how many roles could one production company possibly create? The solution is an industry wide change and thats not going to happen on the strength of Spike Lees boycott. It may begin to happen when well respected white people stop standing by the side lines. Naya is right. If you adopt from a community, you are a de facto member of that community. You have to use ALL your power, not just a fraction.

      • Farhi says:

        “And what good are all the roles in the world, if the Academy shuts them out for consideration? ”

        The art has value for the art itself. Awards are always behind the curve.
        Artists are not producing the work for the awards ( at least they shouldn’t) but because they need to express themselves.

    • Kirtten says:

      Yes you articulated that so much better than I did, Naya.

      (See my failed attempt above. lol)

  9. DeliDelights says:

    Needs to look at his own imdb for movies he’s directed or produced first. Serious lack of diversity and lead roles for people of color. At least Georgie boy is alway good for a bandwagon jump with a platitude to spin his wheels on. Still, now George has spoken!… back to the conversation…

  10. truthSF says:

    If the opportunity is lacking for my ppl, imagine how far less of an opportunity there for other ppl of color, where hardly any has gotten a nomination, much less a win during the academy’s 80+ year history. Has there ever been any Asians, E. Indians, Native Americans, Latinos (besides Benicio and Alejandro), etc. that recieved a nomination/ win(s)?

    • Cee says:

      Yes. Norma Aleandro, an actress from Argentina, received a Best Actress nomination in 1989. But I do get your point.
      I think there is more diversity in the Non-Acting categories.

      • LAK says:

        There is always diversity in the foreign language category and the non- acting categories.

        If Foreign Language category was given the same cache as the Best film/Best Director/Best actors/Best Screenplay (original or adapted), you’d see just how diverse it is. Since 1956, the nominations have usually included a film or two from a countries that aren’t majority white European population.

      • Cee says:

        My example was about a “minority” nominated for an american film. However, it also serves as a diversity example in the sense that her character is mexican of jewish ancestry and the actress is neither (like most Argentines, she’s of spanish descent)

      • Saks says:

        @LAK, but that diversity is also relative. See the winners of Best Foreign Film for example: 55 to European films, 6 to Asian films, 3 to African films and 3 to Latin films.

        Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Brazil have been doing insanely good films year after year but they get nominated just every once in a while. This year, Colombian film “Embrace the serpent” should win, but it is going to loose against a European film about WWII (which we all know it is Academy’s favourite subject).

      • LAK says:

        SAKS: the wins don’t negate the fact that in the foreign language category, you rarely get an all white nomination list which is the point i’m making.

        If the foreign film category was opened out to give oscars to the director, the screenplay, the actors, you’d have a lot more colour in the nominations.

        For your example, Brazil wasn’t nominated this year, BUT you have a film from Jordan and a film from Colombia nominated.

        Last year, the nominations included a film from Mauritius, Argentina and Palestine.

        And the year before that Palestine and Cambodia.

        The year before that Chile

        Before that Chile and Iran

        Before that Algeria, Mexico

        Etc and so forth.

        Now you could make an argument for why European countries have more wins than non European countries, BUT at the vest least, the nomination list from which the voters choose isn’t a closed list as far as ethnicities are concerned.

        On a different note, I know the person who rans the foreign language films desk at the Academy. They do their best, but they have to shoehorn the rest of the non English speaking world into that one category. Brazil *is* making good films, but so is the rest of the world. For every good Brazilian film, I could mention 5 more from different territories. It’s very, very difficult category.

    • lilacflowers says:

      Rita Moreno has an Oscar. Damian Bechir has a nomination. But yes, the lack of diversity here is shocking. Equally shocking for Asians. Kurosawa, Ang Lee, Ismail Merchant, Yul Brenner, Ben Kingsley, Merle Oberon, Ken Watanabe, Haing S. Ngor and that’s about it.

      • LAK says:

        Ben Kingsley has an Oscar. For GANDHI. A film that won 8 of it’s nominated categories.

        Cee: I knew what you meant, and I was making a different point which is that the foreign language categories has shown more diversity than the main categories.

        And the films aren’t always all white casts from countries with all white populations. Occasionally they are diverse too.

        However, to speak to your point, IIRC from BABEL back in 2007 oscars (also directed by Alejandro Innuritu) which was a diverse cast and diverse stories had 6 nominations including Best Film/director/screenplay nods for Alejandro Innuritu, Music and editing, and Best Supporting Actress for Rinko Kukuchi (Japanese Actress) and Adriana Barazza (Mexican actress).

        It won for Music.

    • Sam says:

      Only two Asian men have ever won for best actor – Yul Brenner and Ben Kingsley (both of whom, it should be noted, are of mixed Asian and Caucasian background). No Asian woman has ever won Best Actress. A few Supporting noms and wins, but that’s it.

      Along Latinos, it’s not much better. A few get nominated a lot – Anthony Quinn, Jose Ferrer, etc. But it’s not great.

      Among Native Americans, it’s horrible. Two NA men have been nominated for Best Supporting Actor. That’s it.

      • LAK says:

        Sam: if we are going to nitpick mixed race people then i’d say Halle Berry doesn’t fit the black category since she’s mixed, black and white, and therefore no black actress has ever won the best Actress category!!

      • Red says:

        @LAK

        This is a very ignorant statement. Both Yul and Ben Kingsley could “pass” for white and in fact spent the bulk of the careers playing white characters. Obviously, the perception of them not quite being “other” helped with the academy, as well as when booking jobs. People like Rosario Dawson or Daniel Dae Kim or even Halle Berry are very distinctly non-white. They are undeniably “other” and a voting block comprising old white men treats them accordingly. Thats why anybody with an ounce of race sensitivity treats Halles win as a win for black actress.

      • LAK says:

        RED: it’s not ignorant at all. It was sarcasm. Perhaps I should have made that very clear.

        That said, Ben Kingsley and Yul Brunner are very obviously ‘other’. Definitely not white. So I do not demean their Oscars as previous commentor (who I was responding to) did based on their mixed heritage. It has nothing to do with the fact that they mostly played ‘white’ roles. It’s as obvious as the nose on my face that they are not white.

        And I *was* making a pointed remark that if we are going to nitpick the racial mix of Oscar recipients and find them lacking as a result (their comment), then let’s nitpick all of them, including Halle Berry who is mixed.

        Let’s call it a win for mixed races rather than the races they identify since apparently that isn’t good enough for the previous poster.

    • sarah says:

      I think the bigger issue (the whole enchilada is you will) is: what the academy considers an “Oscar Film”… especially when involving people of (any) color. History shows non-white actors are only rewarded or nominated for stereotypical roles (slave, maid, poor, period piece character) or 2nd tier to a “white savior type” character. Why are only films like 12 Years a Slave, Precious, or Crash nominated? Yet Creed isn’t considered an “Oscar Film”.

  11. BNA Fn says:

    I’m throwing a side eye on George. He has just bring attention to himself and his movies because. When was the last time he featured a person of color in his movie, don’t tell me with all his pull he could not have asked for someone of color to star in one of his last four movies.

    Brad Pitt’s movie 12 years a slave won two years ago. David O missed out on the King movie , I saw it and to be honest I don’t think he was robbed. I know some people were disappointed he lost out on the best Oscar but I just thought he was good but not the great in that movie. Anyway, black actors have the BET awards, that in my opinion is Oscar worthy.

    IMO, the Oscars will never be fair because they are all judged on different movies, who is to say who is better unless they were compared on the same movie. There are so many more important things to worry about than a bunch of of overpaid people pretending they are finding a cure for cancer. I will listen to them and feel sorry for them when they are giving back to the poor and trying to make life better for people in need with all the millions they make for playing dress up.

    • BNA Fn says:

      Sorry for not proofreading before pressing the send button.

    • roses says:

      I had no idea about everything Pitt is putting out. but it seems he may be ahead of the curve when it comes to this issue. I read about him yesterday on an awards film site discussing this as well. They mentioned him producing 12 Years A Slave, Selma, Nightingale
      Plan B has a film coming out this year being distributed by A24 called Moonlight starring Andre Holland about a young black man coming of age in 1980s Miami. Their also producing Americanah with Lupita Nyongo. Makes me wonder if he’s motivated to put out these diverse type of films due do his kids being of different races.

      • Catelina says:

        I can’t wait for Moonlight- it sounds amazing.

      • Farhi says:

        I think with Brad and Angelina it is not that they are more motivated, but they probably understand different races more than you average white actor/ producer.
        You can’t write/ tell a story about something you don’t know intimately, People will know it, and will call it a caricature. This is why while anyone can provide the financing, the stories themselves for POCs to act in have to come from POCs.

    • DiamondGirl says:

      That’s kind of what I see as a problem – why can black people be considered for movies that are based only on a black topic? That categorizes the movie as a black movie, and continues the slave, maid, gangster, etc. theme.

      I think there should be more of the casting like Denzel in Bone Collector and The Pelican Brief, where the character wasn’t black in the books, but it didn’t matter! Because a good actor was what was needed regardless of color. Same with Idris in Luther. I don’t recall any part of the series where his race was mentioned.

      To me that’s where the change should happen.

      • Original Kay says:

        Philadelphia too. He was excellent in that movie.

      • lucy2 says:

        I agree, Diamond Girl, that’s where the real change needs to be. As much as I lose interest in her soapy shows, I really admire how Shonda Rimes casts – the character has no physical description, and casting is wide open. The same needs to be done for movies.

  12. Tiffany says:

    Really hard to take seriously someone who’s next film had me walking towards the light it was so white.

  13. Bridget says:

    Says the man who’s movies feature white, male leads.

  14. HeyThere! says:

    This might be an unpopular opinion but I want the best of the best nominated. I don’t care if it’s all white, all balck, all purple. Just freaking nominate the best. That is what the academy is failing to do and it sucks. So many of the white actors nominated had lack luster proformances. Does it have more to do with the Acadamy playing acquaintance favorites?? Like, “oh-John comes to my BBW every Fall, I will nominate whatever he has going this year.” I hate to think with the amazing actors today that we are really behind in this. It’s skin people. We are made exactly the same but one persons skin is darker while the other is lighter. Why is this still a thing?! SO frustrating!!! As a person with several different races in my family, this issue upsets me deeply.

  15. Lucy2 says:

    I think he answered it well. IMO we need everyone calling for diversity, everyone wanting equality in pay, etc. The burden of changing a big, slow moving industry should not fall only on the shoulders of those being underserved by it.
    That said, I agree with those who are pointing out the shortcomings in his own films. He is in a position to actually do something, being a producer and director with a lot of industry cred.

    • Esmom says:

      I do, too. And for those who are criticizing him for not walking the walk, so to speak, we have no idea what factors were in play when it came to casting some of the films in question. I really don’t think he actively sought to only cast white people.

      I’m not really a fan of his but his response was acceptable, imo.

      • kate says:

        This. 3 out of his 5 films as director were period films set in the 40′s and 50′s and somewhat based on real events, and one was an adaptation, also based on a real person. The Ides of March was really the only film he’s made as a director where there was scope for casting POC in bigger roles without revising history, and he did cast Jeffrey Wright in that.

        Obviously he could choose different subject matter, but he didn’t, and the roles he’s had in his films have called for white actors. There weren’t POC in Edward R. Murrows newsroom, the behind the scenes beginnings of pro football were whiter than white (he did cast some POC as players) and the Monuments Men were primarily white American men with mostly white French, Italian and UK men thrown in as well. As far as I can tell, the only POC involved was a Japanese man working in his own country, not in Europe.

        He could do better as a producer (he did produce Far From Heaven, and Solaris, which gave Viola Davis a great role), but he’s not a really prolific producer. He and Grant Heslov produce many of George’s films, but in the last decade they’ve only produced 2 films they didn’t write or star in. Unless he ramps that up, the biggest way he can influence things is by speaking out as an ally. He’s one of the biggest movie stars in the world. He’s not a huge director or producer comparatively. His biggest power is that people will pay attention to him because he’s famous, and he is doing what he can with that, behind the scenes and publicly.

  16. Nebby says:

    I think it’s great when white people discuss diversity, racism, etc and are honest about the reality of what minority’s face. People who are being discriminated against know they’re human and should not be denied bc what race or gender they are, it’s time for people who discriminate to understand that too. Unfortunately it takes someone who looks like them, in this case older white men in Hollywood, for them to take the message seriously.

  17. The Original Mia says:

    I think it’s great he said something. It’s not only that black films are rarely nominated but the lack of opportunities for blacks to be in Oscar films. I also liked that he mentioned it’s worse for other minorities.

  18. mia girl says:

    I’m of the mind that the more voices heard, the better, including those who are part of the problem. How do we fix things if recognition is not allowed by the power structure that needs to change? Clooney said “we have to do better” and so I take that to mean he is part of the “we”. I remember how much he campaigned for Viola Davis to win the Oscar, so I am inclined to give him some benefit of the doubt.

    The calls against him for his film castings are fair and hopefully he will not just recognize, but lead by example and work towards casting more diverse actors in his films and pressuring studios to do the same in films that he appears in.

    • noway says:

      I agree and I think he noticed the woman problem, and changed Brand in Crisis from a male to a female for Sandra Bullock was a step. Now maybe he will notice more and try harder to hire more POC in his movies. I just think a lot of people are just not realizing what they can do to help the problem, and this discussion might change his actions as well. I would like him to think that maybe a very good actor doesn’t need to look exactly as the part was written. Someone brought up Denzel Washington getting roles that weren’t African American, well I doubt he is the only POC actor who can act those roles either. Granted some roles are really image driven, but most aren’t and I think you just need to think outside the box a bit and you might get a better movie too.

  19. Mindy says:

    Go and read the nomination process at the academy’s website… Only ACTOR members nominate in the acting categories.

    In order to become a member, you either need to be sponsored by two members within their category OR become an Academy Award nominee. Which means…

    GEORGE CLOONEY was almost definitely one of the people nominating his fellow actors in the acting categories.

    They all need to shut up and MAYBE bring this up at the next SAG meeting – unless none of them show for those either.

    • lilacflowers says:

      Yup.

    • Mara says:

      I agree very much . I bet the President of the Academy has some input in the process too but she acts like she didn’t;t know from her statements. Very hypocritical and telling.

    • sisi says:

      or he should talk more about those sponsorships to his actor peers, because actors have power there to add diversity (as a nominee so does Will Smith btw) to the voting group, leading to more balanced results in the future.

    • Kitten says:

      Wait a second, how do we know that Clooney DIDN’T nominate a black actor? Just because there aren’t any PoC noms this year doesn’t mean that Clooney wasn’t outvoted by other AMPA members in the “acting” branch.

      “The choices made by branch members, which are ranked preferentially from one to five, are sent to accounting and auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), who then count the selections – manually – and after much sifting of paper, eventually determine the top five choices – or nominations – in each Oscar category.”

      http://www.disassociated.com/2010/02/16/how-does-the-oscar-nomination-and-voting-process-work/

      I’m no Clooney fan but it seems really unfair to pin that on him, when we have no idea how that played out behind the scenes.

      • CornyBlue says:

        Yeah he might have put POC in his ballot as I am sure a lot of other actors did but preferential voting is a bitch so they could not make it. Seems harsh to just pin it on one of them without any evidence.

      • Kitten says:

        Right. It’s not just one actor’s decision. We’re talking about the Acting Branch, which is the largest branch of the 17 in the AMPA and includes almost 1,200 members.

      • Mindy says:

        I’m not saying he didn’t – I’m saying that the community as a whole has to stop BLAMING the ‘Academy’ for this when it is their OWN PEERS (other actors) who do the nominating and not some bunch of ‘old white male studio heads.’

      • Kitten says:

        Where in his comment did Clooney put the blame on ‘old white male studio heads’ ??? He specifically said “WE need to do better” so obviously he’s shouldering some of the responsibility.

        When you say “community” I take that as referring to Hollywood as a whole so the community blaming studio heads means they ARE blaming themselves on some level, they’re simply pointing to one aspect of a system that has a lot of missing/broken cogs. I never took that as Hollywood specifically scapegoating studio heads as the SOLE cause of their racial inequality.

        And yes, movie studios DO play a role in the availability of roles for PoC/minority actors. I don’t see how anybody could deny that…

  20. Jayna says:

    He said, “We” need to do better. And he’s right. But it’s about casting outside the box as far as I’m concerned in movies already written or being directed and put out there, with a more diversified cast, which includes his own movies he produces and/or directs.

    I do applaud him for putting Sandra Bullock, at the age of 50, into a role written for a man.
    .

  21. Fa says:

    Everyone knows Clooney always cast his white friends for leads role in his movie, it is rare to see new faces in his movie always the same, Julia R, Matt D, & so on

  22. Catelina says:

    It sounds like they asked him for a response and in that case I don’t blame him for talking about it, it’s a nice statement and everything but he’s a director and a producer, and he doesn’t have a great record when it comes to diversity in his own films.

    • Petra says:

      And for someone who is all of a sudden a champion of women over 40, he sure as hell has never dated one even though he’s 53 himself ….

  23. K says:

    If you want change and growth then you have to have everyone involved in the conversation. Now I’m not saying the medias handling of various peoples reactions is right it’s not, but if you limit the conversation to the excluded group nothing will change. Everyone has to be in the discussion, everyone has to be asked.

  24. Petra says:

    George is just trying to get attention for himself and I note he has a movie coming out in 2 weeks too. He’s come off a really bad year career wise. I think it’s 3 flops in a row, and things have been going downhill for him since he overexposed himself badly at his pimped out Venice wedding to Amal that made him a bit of a joke. I bet he wouldn’t be saying anything if HE was nominated this year. He’s got it in for Leonardo di Caprio too – George has said some disparaging things about Leo in interviews – so it doesn’t surprise me that George has waded into the debate with the added joy for him of potentially spoiling Leo’s moment.

    • nicole says:

      He is probably jealous of Leo because he is a much more talented actor and gets to work with great directors and good roles. When was the last time George had a really good role and director, I cant remember one. Leo deserved an Oscar long before, he got one.

  25. Jayna says:

    David Oyelowo has been giving great interviews for the past couple of years about diversity, the lack thereof.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6rACq-91W8

  26. serena says:

    While I appreciate what he said and how he did it, I think this is kind of a landmine to step into. Yes, he did cast women and people of other races to some movie he produced (etc, don’t really know the specifics) and he is not bad, BUT do we really need to hear George Clooney opinion about it? Who’ll be the next to talk and give a pat on the back of all the snubbed black actors, Matt Damon?
    Please.

  27. CornyBlue says:

    On one hand i do think whites, specially those with power should speak out and join the POC in whatever movement they are doing. However on the other hand, Clooney has immense power and has not highlighted a POC in any of his works as a director or producer.

    • siri says:

      This! Clooney in particular is known for giving jobs to his (white) friends in all the films he directed and/or produced. He actually prouds himself for creating jobs for them. But I think the problem with equality doesn’t start there. It’s only a reflection of inequality starting early with education. Where are the people of (whatever) other colour who become writers, and then get their script through studios owned, and therefore dominated, by white guys, who first and foremost think about their revenue? The Oscar nominations are done BY peers FOR peers, and I even doubt they’ve watched all the performances that might be in the closer selection. So it’s politics mostly, I guess. But at the core of all this is inequality regarding chances.

    • kate says:

      His films as a director have mostly been period pieces based on real events/people. He could have done some out of the box casting and cast a POC as Edward R. Murrow, or as Monuments Men (they were mostly American, those working in Europe were all white), but that’s a pretty bold move and he’s not a bold director.

      As a producer, he has produced a few films featuring POC in great roles (Far From Heaven, Solaris), but he mostly produces just some of his own films or Grant Heslov’s films. They’ve only produced two films they didn’t star in or write in the past decade. August Osage County and Our Brand In Crisis, both films that provided meaty leading roles for 40yr+ women. The next film he’s producing (and starring in) is directed by Jodie Foster.

      He’s not a powerhouse producer. Like most actors turned producers, he really only produces his own work, or occasionally work he was considering for himself at one time and thus was already involved with.

  28. perplexed says:

    Edited.

  29. Josefina says:

    Good that he talks about it. The problem needs to be adressed and white allies need to speak their minds as well. You can’t talk about inclusion while excluding people of the conversation.

    That being said, I don’t care about minorities being casted if they’ll be portrayed in a racist way. Our Brand is Crisis was a HORRIBLE film that doesn’t represent South American people AT. ALL. And I’m supposed to be glad because half a dozen latinos acted in it? Get out of here.

    • siri says:

      We all know HW nurtures it’s stereotypes. But your comment brings me to another question: you write “South American people”. But isn’t there plenty of diversity among them? What would be the characteristics for said South American people when portrayed in a movie? I mean, there’s no “one-size-fits-all”, right? I’m sure there are racist people everywhere, because in the end, it’s people, not countries, or nationalities being racist…

      • Josefina says:

        The movie represented us as uncivilized people who need saving from white people. That does not represent us. It’s not even an opinion. Everytime the USA has messed with Latin American politics they take out a shitty dictator and bring one even worse.

  30. nicole says:

    Is George’s opinion in Hollywood relevent anymore, he doesnt seem to have the same power he used to have.

    • siri says:

      I don’t think anybody really cares anymore. And since the publication of his whining mails to Amy Pascal, I’m sure he lost some fans within his community. I also believe the whole Amal circus didn’t do him any favours.

  31. Corgis4Life says:

    I never realized that actors and top-level industry peeps are allowed to vote for the winners. That just proves its all rigged. I feel like they should have a board of film EXPERTS who have studied film as their professions voting for the winners, you know, people with a higher education. An independent board. Its like having the cop who arrested me on the jury for my trial. They all work for each other so its all who is most popular. God, it’s like high school prom for these narcissistic adults. I think I am actually going to pass on watching this year.

    After having my mind just blown, I realized nobody likes Leo since he has never won! I wish we could hear from the industry people what they REALLY think of him. Probably slept with too many of the voter’s wives!

    • siri says:

      Unfortunately it’s true, it’s like a voter’s swinger club;-) Peers voting for peers they like, or don’t regard as a “threat” to their own career. And I heard quite a few people over the years telling in interviews they didn’t even watch all the movies in order to get some overlook. So it’s self-serving business. Leo might indeed not be liked by many, but I don’t think it’s the voter’s wifes concerned. Leo is too smart to pick women from his own business. I think he’s not overly subservient, and doesn’t butter up people. That’s more George than Leo. He’s also still quite young, so giving him an Oscar gets him (thanks to his huge talent as well) into an even better position to get future roles. So there might be a lot of jealousy going on as well…you know, it’s not really unconditional love between those people;-)

      • Tarla says:

        I agree. I think Leo is disliked by the Academy but he atleast don’t kiss their a$$ to get an Oscar like Clooney does.
        I also find it funny how Clooney always speaks out against the Oscars when Leo is a nominee. He did it 2 years ago whe nLD was nominated for WOW and trashed in the press for something he did when he was in his 20s.

  32. Dangles says:

    Kanye West and John Singleton have actually been defending “The White Oscars”. But I hear Michael Moore is also boycotting them.

  33. cd3 says:

    I personally think another industry that needs to be called out is that of fiction writers. I’m so very, very tired of reading popular fiction books where EVERY character is white. I just finished “Still Alice” and wanted to hurl the book at the wall. EVERY character is white, rich, and privileged. They are all named “Tom” “Anna” “Alice” etc. There was NO diversity whatsoever.

    On the other hand, I recently read Station Eleven and one of the main narrators is an Indian man! Imagine! With a white wife! There is also a gay character, whose main contribution to the plot is not that HE IS GAY. It’s a total aside to the character and plot. There were also African American characters. Asian characters. Other minorities.

    I wish that the various pop culture industries would recognize that casting minorities or women or POC or disabled persons in roles won’t reduce viewership. It will increase it!

    • word says:

      Tom, Anna, and Alice can be names of POC though. I didn’t read the book but I did see the movie and thought it was really good. I do think the movie could have been done with any family, regardless of ethnicity as ethnicity had nothing to do with the story line. But you know how Hollywood is.

    • LAK says:

      Seriously? you don’t know that there are millions of well received popular books by and about non white people in all genres? Or even non patronising books by white people with non white protagonists and vice versa?

      And you don’t need to go to specialist book stores or internet chatrooms/forums to find them. Heck if you can’t be bothered to go book shopping, google a reading list and have Amazon deliver them!!

      And many non white people are called Alice or Tom or Anna.

    • kate says:

      But rich white people who only associate with other rich white people is a pretty true to life scenario?

      We need more diversity in all forms of media, but the world isn’t perfectly diversified. Not everyone’s going to have gay, black, Asian, disabled etc. people in their circle, and it would be odd if every story pretended that was reality. Some stories are going to be almost 100% about white people, or men, or straight people and so on. There’s nothing wrong with that, but there should also be opportunity for stories about POC, about women, about LGBT people etc., to get recognition. Which they do to some extent, but not nearly to the extent media based on straight, healthy white men does. That’s the problem. Books featuring WASPS being WASPY are fine, so long as we’re hearing other voices just as loudly.

  34. Emily C. says:

    It just occurred to me… what if Leonardo diCaprio boycotted?

    On the one hand, it would make it too much about him. But it would also draw a massive amount of attention. When you’ve got a platform like his, you have a responsibility to use it. He could say he was boycotting and not say why in his own words, but point to what Spike Lee et al are saying instead. I’m not sure any other nominated actor could get away with this without taking a big career hit, though.

    I don’t know, it’s just an idea.

    • Tarla says:

      Why would Leo boycott the Oscars though? I fail to see. He deserves his award .
      Its not his job to point out the Academy for being racist.

  35. me says:

    Anyone find it ironic the Oscars are held during Black History Month?

  36. Tw says:

    There is also a lack of diversity on screen in the first place. Nathalie Portman fought to get a female director for the RBG biopic. Clooney other actors/producers would speak louder with actions when they also fight to include more roles for minorities, and for women over the age of 25 by that matter. The great thing about film is the human experience, relating to the story, reflecting. It’s a tragedy for its scope to be limited by such a lack of diversity. That connection should be available for every person, no matter age, gender or race.