Justice

Academy Award Nominees Speak out on #OscarsSoWhite

January 22nd 2016

By:
Laura Donovan

A handful of Academy Award acting nominees are speaking out on #OscarsSoWhite since the 88th Academy Awards nominations were released last week. 

Celebrities and non-celebrities have criticized the Oscars for once again largely overlooking people of color in all of the categories. Actress Jada Pinkett-Smith called out the Academy for snubbing her husband Will Smith, who many felt deserved a nod for his role in "Concussion," and director Spike Lee wrote on Instagram that Hollywood's "gate keepers" are the real people at fault for the industry's lack of diversity.

Several Oscar contenders, who are perhaps in one of the most vulnerable positions to speak out, are sharing their views on the ongoing controversy. Here's what they said so far.

RELATED: Why #OscarsSoWhite is Trending (Again)

1. Charlotte Rampling, Best Actress nominee for "45 Years"

Charlotte Rampling

Rampling, who has been nominated for Best Actress for her part in "45 Years," went on French Radio network Europe 1 on Friday morning and said that #OscarsSoWhite is "racist to whites," according to The Guardian.

“One can never really know, but perhaps the black actors did not deserve to make the final list,” she said.

When asked if the Academy should put quotes in place, she said, “Why classify people? These days everyone is more or less accepted ... People will always say: ‘Him, he’s less handsome’; ‘Him, he’s too black’; ‘He is too white’ ... someone will always be saying ‘You are too’ [this or that] ... But do we have to take from this that there should be lots of minorities everywhere?”

She had "no comment" when the interviewer mentioned that Black people in the industry consider themselves minorities.

The Academy has since vowed to double number of female and minority members by 2020 in response to #OscarsSoWhite, according to the Associated Press:

RELATED: THE OSCAR NOMINATIONS JUST CAME OUT AND THERE'S ONE OBVIOUS PROBLEM

2. Brie Larson, Best Actress nominee for "Room"

The Golden Globe winner and Best Actress nominee said the #OscarsSoWhite discussion is important in an Instagram photo of her Hollywood Reporter cover:

 

A photo posted by Brie (@brielarson) on

"Thank you @hollywoodreporter for covering this very unique moment in my life!" Larson wrote. "It was wonderful spending time with all of you. Personally, I'm interested in reading their article on #OscarsSoWhite. This is a conversation that deserves attention."

RELATED: Hollywood Elite Are Starting to Boycott the Oscar's Lack of Diversity...Again

3. Mark Ruffalo, Best Supporting Actor for "Spotlight"

Mark Ruffalo

Mark Ruffalo, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor nominee for his role in "Spotlight," made headlines earlier this week when he told BBC that he was "weighing" whether or not to attend the Oscars following the #OscarsSoWhite hoopla.

"I woke up in the morning thinking, ‘What is the right way to do this?’" he said. "Because if you look at Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, what he was saying is the good people who don’t act are much worse than the wrongdoers who are purposely not acting and don’t know the right way."

On Thursday, Ruffalo said that he would be attending the Oscars after all "in support of the victims of clergy Sexual Abuse and good journalism." Ruffalo was referring to the message behind "Spotlight," which tells the true story of the Boston Globe's investigation of a Catholic Church sexual abuse issue and has also received a Best Picture nomination. Ruffalo went on to say that he supports the frustrated people who have protested the Oscars for its diversity problem:

RELATED: Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs Responds to #OscarsSoWhite