Spike Lee and Rev. Al Sharpton are not holding back on Selma director Ava DuVernay and the film’s lead actor David Oyelowo being shut out for an Oscar nomination. On the day the nominations were announced, Lee slammed the Academy voting board over Ava and Oyelowo not receiving nominations in the Best Director and Best Actor categories in an interview with The Daily Beast. Lee recalled his first hand experience on being overlooked for an Oscar nod, notably for his 1989 film Do The Right Thing (Driving Miss Daisy took home the Best Picture award) and Malcolm X (Silence Of The Lamb won) in 1992. Lee remarked:
Join the club! But that doesn’t diminish the film. Nobody’s talking about motherfuckin’ Driving Miss Daisy. That film is not being taught in film schools all across the world like Do the Right Thing is. Nobody’s discussing Driving Miss Motherfuckin’ Daisy. So if I saw Ava today I’d say, ‘You know what? Fuck ’em. You made a very good film, so feel good about that and start working on the next one.
Spike’s going HARD! Lee does have hope the Academy’s voting board will finally catch on with the time and become more diverse now that Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the first Black president is currently in office. According to Lee:
The Academy is trying to be more diverse. Cheryl is trying to open it up and have more diversity amongst the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. But with Selma, it’s not the first time it’s happened, and every time it does I say, ‘You can’t go to awards like the Oscars or the Grammys for validation. The validation is if your work still stands 25 years later.’
Meanwhile Sharpton isn’t about to let Hollywood skate on freezing Selma out. The good Reverend released a statement saying he was going to hold a meeting with his newly created diversity task force (thank those Sony e-mails for that!) about the affair. Sharpton stated:
The movie industry is like the Rocky Mountains, the higher you get, the whiter it gets. I have called an emergency meeting early next week in Hollywood with the task force to discuss possible action around the Academy Awards. The lack of diversity in today’s Oscar nominations is appalling and while it is good that Selma was nominated for ‘Best Picture,’ it’s ironic that they nominated a story about the racial shutout around voting while there is a racial shutout around the Oscar nominations. With all of the talent in Selma and other Black movies this year, it is hard to believe that we have less diversity in the nominations today than in recent history.
Tinsel town’s about to catch it from Rev! Just ask Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal.