Oscar: OscarsSoWhite–Clooney on Lack of Diversity in Hollywood

Last week, for the second consecutive year, the Academy nominated 20 white actors as the best performances of the year, a decision that generated widespread controversy. Twitter erupted in a OscarsSoWhite hashtag

Yesterday, Spike Lee and Jada Pinlett Smith announced that they would boycott the ceremony, and not even watch it on TV.

Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who is black (by the way) said that she was “heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion.”

Variety asked Hollywood star and Oscar-winner, George Clooney for his thoughts about what the industry needs to do.

George Clooney:

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?

Most Leads in the 1930s Women

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.

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.