Selma breakout star David Oyelowo isn’t holding back when discussing Hollywood recognizing black actors and their performances during Oscar season. Oyelowo appeared at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Sunday where he weighed in on Selma director Ava DuVernay being overlooked for a Best Director nomination as well as himself for a Best Actor nod for this year’s Academy-Awards. While Ana and Oyelowo both have been relatively quiet about being snubbed, many voiced their outrage over what some are calling the “White Oscars” due to minorities not being part of the nominations for the top slots. Oyelowo gave his thoughts on roles Blacks have snared nominations for. Oyelowo stated:
Historically, and this is truly my feeling, generally speaking we as black people have been celebrated more for when we are subservient, when we are not being leaders or kings, or being in the center or our own narrative driving it forward.
Oyelowo pointed out in the past many Black actors were ignored for great performances when they weren’t playing slaves or domesticated workers. According to Oyelowo:
To me, Denzel Washington should’ve won for playing Malcom X…so this bears out what I’m saying, which is, we just got to come to the point where by there isn’t a self-fulfilling prophecy a notion of who black people are that feeds into what we’re celebrated as. Not just in the Academy, just in life generally.
Watch Oyelowo’s honest observation below.