Al Sharpton Is Addressing Oscar Nominations Diversity Controversy With An Emergency Meeting That’s Incredibly Necessary
Considering yesterday's announcement of the official 2015 Oscar nominations included a glaring lack of diversity amongst top award contenders — so much so, that 2015's Academy Awards ceremony will reportedly be the first since 1998 that does not include at least one person of color nominated for Best Actor or Actress — this is certainly no surprise, and definitely called for. According to various news outlets, the Rev. Al Sharpton has called an "emergency meeting" to discuss the lack of diversity amongst 2015's Oscar nominees, which he hopes will be able to settle upon possible action that can be taken to address the major issue.
In a statement announcing the "emergency meeting" — which call for members of his Hollywood diversity task force to meet up next week in Hollywood — Sharpton criticized the Academy for the lack of diversity amongst this year's nominees, though he praised the nomination of the film Selma for Best Picture award.
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.
As previously reported, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs responded to backlash directed toward the Oscar nominations in a statement issued to Vulture on Thursday, denying that the nominations had a lack of diversity. Hopefully, Sharpton's meeting with the task force will, at the very least, help to address the issue of diversity — specifically, the blatant lack of it — not only for this year's Academy Awards, but for Hollywood as a whole.