George Clooney on White Oscars: ‘We’re Moving in the Wrong Direction’ (EXCLUSIVE)

George Clooney

Last week, for the second consecutive year, the Oscars nominated 20 white actors as the best performances of the year, a decision that generated widespread controversy. Twitter erupted in a “Oscars so White” hashtag, and the New York Times asked if the Oscars were “so dumb.” Over the weekend, Spike Lee announced plans to boycott the ceremony, and Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs issued a statement saying she was “frustrated about the lack of inclusion.” Variety asked Hollywood statesman 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?

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.

Let’s look back at some of the nominees. I think around 2004, certainly there were black nominees — like Don Cheadle, Morgan Freeman. And all of a sudden, you feel like we’re moving in the wrong direction. There were nominations left off the table. There were four films this year: “Creed” could have gotten nominations; “Concussion” could have gotten Will Smith a nomination; Idris Elba could have been nominated for “Beasts of No Nation;” and “Straight Outta Compton” could have been nominated. And certainly last year, with “Selma” director Ava DuVernay — I think that it’s just ridiculous not to nominate her.

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.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 249

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. catanzaro says:

    OK Hollywood- Al Pacino and Leo for hosting the Oscars for some diversity and class . lets get it started people , we can get together in numbers and get it done . PS- Scarlett Johansson too please ! grazie

  2. Norma says:

    How about hispanics? we represent about 16% of US population compared 13% African american, In my opinion every minority should be represented with opportunities to have good roles not the same..

  3. Pep says:

    I love the fact that people are angry about the nominations for 2016 but what about the fact that a rapist years ago was nominated and won and given a standing ovation? Racism is bad but what is rape? Roman Polanski directed the movie the pianist while he was in another country, why was he in another country because the coward ran away when admitting to drugging and raping a 13 year old girl. All these actors who talk of human rights, being treated equally are the same people who gave this man a standing ovation. Mel Gibson career was ruined when using anti Semitic language, words got him in trouble but apparently if you rape someone who gives a dame. Keisha got massive support from fellow celebrities following her rape accusations towards a producer? Does that make sense? These celebrities are disgusted by what someone might have done, we can’t say if it happened or not, it’s he said she said ,but Roman Polanski confessed to raping the girl than escapes to another country like a coward and he gets support? Celebrities protect one another no matter what. They make these organizations involving the prevention of abuse, sexual abuse, trafficking yet they sign a petition to free this man because he’s old, because he went through a lot in his life and this is the most amazing excuse I’ve heard, he’s a talented director.

    • Jack says:

      Fakes & Flakes always protect their Own…Hell when I saw the way Hollyweird put their Collective head uP Jane Fonda’s Nasty A$$ 4 turning on our Boys that the Dems sent over 2 the RVN myself included…it only reaffirmed my suspicions that much more of a bunch of gutless Bigoted Fools the self proclaimed Elite really where & are…As far as that Prick your talking about he should of had his Ball’s cut off & then Hung ! Hollywood the Home of Punks & Drunks…Adios

  4. Choke says:

    Were there any performances by non white actors that were worthy of being nominated?

    Or are blacks just looking for affirmative action here too?

  5. Jack says:

    WOW…You mean that 99% of Whites actually Judge the Works of a Human…Instead of the Color of the Skin that Human is Wrapped in ? Who would’a Thunk such a Thing? Amen

  6. Laura James says:

    OK l think someone needs to say this, has it ever entered anyone’s mind that the winners were BETTER? Sorry but it’s different tastes

  7. Wonder how many whites, Hispanics, and Asians will be nominated/win any ABFF awards this week? Who are the racist ones? We shouldn’t have the pot calling the kettle black. (23Feb16)

  8. Jeff says:

    To give something to somebody because of the color of their skin or their gender rather than because they earned it, isn’t that discriminating against those that actually worked hard for the recognition and award? Where are all the equal rights activists now?

    • Jack says:

      Same ole Chit just another day…if you disagree w/the Africans your called a Racist…. A 100 yrs from now they will still be Whining…& my grandkids kids will be hearing the same Chit…Shuck & Jive…the only diff the Latinos will be running the show…which is 1/2 my Family…they will boycott the whole Black race & their Whiney A$$ Bigotery

      • There are Black Latinos too idiot. Latino doesn’t signify a color (race), so until you clean up your recognition of Black Latinos your CULTURE is a non-factor. Its retarded that a Latino person would even be talking like you do, as if you benefit from race based hatred! There are over 100 million Black people living in “Latino Countries, yet fools like yourself keep saying “Latino” as if that means “White”. You are being discriminated against by Europeans, not Blacks, but your too yellow-bellied (scared) to speak out against your real oppressor. It gains you NOTHING to speak of Black people like you do, and you are talking down your own people because there are plenty of Black Latinos. Wake up.

      • Jack says:

        You want an opportunity? Then make 1 for Yourself or better yet have Spike Lee make 1 for You ’cause the Day 4 Whitey doing it 4 You ain’t happening anymore.Hell I never did like SuperFly anyway Adios

  9. Juvenate says:

    George Clooney just produced his fifteenth major motion picture. Guess how many have featured black actors in significant roles? That same zero goes for the half dozen feature films he’s directed.

    • Jack says:

      He’s a Airhead & Bigot how many Whites does his ButtBrutha Spike Lee put in His pics NaDa Zilch Zero they talk a goodgame if your Dumb enough 2 believe their Hollyweird BullChit

  10. Steve says:

    In a strange twist, black actors get MORE votes than WHITES! There’s a huge misperception here about who the academy voters are voting for. The public doesn’t know the racial makeup of all the nominees, ONLY THE TOP FIVE IN EACH CATEGORY. There may actually be MORE votes going to blacks and other non-white groups, but if all these votes are SPREAD OUT among many black and non-white actors, no one individual black or non-white will make it to the top five! Do you get it?

  11. Shame on you, white boy. Betraying your own race.

  12. shay williams..Hollywood Twins says:

    TRUTH:: We live in a ravist society..and the demons are living in people..Theres no need in sugar coating anything..The Oscars still need to confer with Jada and Will Smith ..Spike Lee and other people of color who are not living in a dark illusion…(no pun needed)…Blacks have always had a hard time in events..having to go through the back doors to get in an event and in fear of being thrown out

    God is taking back Hollywood..and it will be maintained with people of integrity..OSCARS. YOU HV BN CAUGHT JUST LIKE THE DEVIL..ALWAYS EXPOSED!!GET IT RIGHT WITH.MRS. SMITH..JADA SMITH.THAT IS!! THANK YOU GEORGE FOR YOUR HONESTY💝💝

  13. Doctor Black says:

    There should be more opportunities? Clooney’s suggestion seem even worse to me. Of course there will be less chance for a black person to play a role in a “good movie” when said movies reflect reality. Before Obama there had never been a black President in the USA so depicting the president as such in a movie before that would always have detracted a bit from the story and been its own thing. Granted we did see it happen in some movies even so, but that doesn’t change the fact that when you cast a person you cast the actor that will be able to best portray said character and not stick out like a sore thumb. A good example the sore thumb for instance was the latest Fantastic 4 movie where Johny Storm was cast as a black guy… yet he had a white sister. If you are going down that route, why wasn’t both siblings changed? Or better yet why didn’t they cast Richards as a black man? That at least would have made more sense than what they gave us.

    But it’s always talk about quotas and changing characters and movies around just so that the poor actors can get jobs. But as a movie lover I think this is a mistake and a disservice not only to the movies and the fans, but too the actors themselves. Being cast in the wrong role can gain you more hate than fandom if the fanbase don’t approve… just look at the latest Star Wars movie. The poor female lead and black sidekick has received a lot of criticism simply because the movie itself tried to be politically correct. This never happened With Lando Calrissian, but it happens with this new movie because this new movie is trying to stick in minorities and what not into the movie as a main goal.

    No, when I go see a movie I want the movies to stay true to the source and the nature of the story it is trying to convey. When I watch a space drama, I don’t want to see a young girl cry about how she can run on her own. nor do I want to see a black man act like a complete loser.

    When I go see a movie about say Shaft? I want to see a BLACK Shaft kicking butt and taking names.
    When I go and see a story about a character that was supposed to be male like in say Silent Hill, I don’t want to see a woman running around being useless simply because the director believes that a father couldn’t care as much about his child as a mother. (what the hell??)
    and when I go and see a movie is supposed to portray and post apocalyptic world where most of the characters are Caucasian as in “Attack on Titan” I don’t want it to be changed so that ALL the characters all of a sudden are Japanese.

  14. Doug Bough says:

    DuVernay was not nominated because the producers of Selma didn’t have DVDs ready for the Director’s Guild to distribute to its voting members. Selma had a limited opening on December 25 and a wide opening on January 9. Without DVDs the voters had very little opportunity to watch the movie before the 12/31 deadline. Big screw up. It’s also why none of the cast were nominated. No DVDs for SAG. (not because of racist old white men)

    Look, Blacks make up 10% of English-speaking countries (US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Aust. NZ). 45 million out of 450 million. In this Century (including the last two years) Blacks have received 9.7% of acting nominations (29 out of 300) and 15% of Oscars (9 out of 60). So Blacks received their fair share of nominations and 50% more than their share of Oscars. Again this includes the last two years of zero nominations. And now we had a two year statistical anomaly of which half was the responsibility of the (Black) producers of Selma.

    The current brouhaha are drama queens unwilling to engage in critical thought.

  15. Don says:

    Sounds like George may be running for office and trying to get the Black vote.

  16. Jonip says:

    @GeorgeClooney…I’m so bored with your “jump on the latest bandwagon” causes. When in the last 10 years, have you produced and or directed a movie with an African American actor as lead? You want change? Be the change!

    • Virginia says:

      That’s what I was thinking. Can’t he demand in his contract that his movie be more diverse. Robin Williams had in his rider that any of his movies the producer had to hire a certain number of homeless people.

      • Jack says:

        When’s the last time Georgie had a Black over 2 his Crib 4 DinDin or Oprah had Whitey over ? These Libs are like some of You a bunch of Bigots

    • shut up with this whiny BS. At least George said something., Damn why are people so quick to attack? George has been building his career. Who cares what u think he should or haven’t done. There is power in speaking especially when going against the grain.
      And he is speaking….

      • Jonip says:

        powerforce..speaking of being a racist. Whats with all the name calling.. You’re quite the bully too.

  17. Radu says:

    So, a black guy must be nominee, just becouse he is a black guy ?

    • No idiot!!! Racists come in all shapes and sizes and the fact that you don’t even get it or care to even understand the issue, probably means that you have some soul searching to do. No one said Black means nomination. Its about opportunity. its about passing up the good when you know its the good. All you racists need to go to hell

      • I do agree that racists come in all shapes and sizes.

      • Nicola says:

        “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.” …. A role in a quality film should be deserved and not imposed … African-Americans arte over-represented in United states film , they are more than 13%

  18. Steve says:

    @ George Clooney
    There’s a huge misperception here about who the academy voters are voting for. The public doesn’t know the racial makeup of all the nominees, ONLY THE TOP FIVE IN EACH CATEGORY. There may actually be MORE votes going to blacks and other non-white groups, but if all these votes are SPREAD OUT among many black and non-white actors, no one individual black or non-white will make it to the top five! Do you get it? 95 votes may be spread out among 95 black actors, each getting one vote, for example, but if just five votes go to a single WHITE actor…THE WHITE ACTOR WILL BE IN THE TOP FIVE WHILE NONE OF THE BLACK ACTORS MAKES THE TOP FIVE! In which case 95% of the votes went to BLACK actors, the problem being that no ONE black actor got enough votes TO MAKE THE TOP FIVE. So you see it’s a BIG mistake to assume, and accuse, the academy voters of being racist, and that there need to be more black voters. It’s the manner in which votes are aggregated, and our hang-up with “TOP 5” or “TOP 10” or whatever. If the academy simply published the names of EVERYONE who was nominated, this would become clear, and that the voters may not be racist against blacks AT ALL! It may actually be THE OPPOSITE!

    • Axe says:

      I agree they are not racist, I mean you are talking about one of the most liberal industries there is (funny this is not brought up more) and to call these types racist is deeply offensive to them, yet they in their greedy, profit grabbing at any cost to the very limits of capitalism ways screw over the very working persons and unions whose values they pretend to protect by going abroad for cheaper labor and tax incentives. They decimated their own VFX industry in California over this. They hurt CA and the U.S. with job losses and taxes that don’t go back to this country or the home of their own industry. This is the most hypocritical industry in the world bar none, with its having its cake and eating it too leftism.

      Anyway, I don’t get your point. If you are saying there were many votes for ‘blacks’ there is no doubt that must be true and maybe Will or Idris or whoever else just missed it and got #6 or #7, who knows? The voting is on a system that they believed to be more fair and balanced in the nomination process by everyone listing their top choice and then runner ups and then it is all aggregated by some formula to boil down to the nominees given. Are you claiming the system is invalid somehow or that they should simply publish all the votes in the entirety? Kind of dumb and would be pointless to the final choices.
      Like playing the bottom of the ninth inning anyway when the game is already over. Not to mention that would totally belittle the whole point of it: to chose definitively the best. They don’t just go to winners only, they give a finite number of nominations so as to create not just acknowledgment due to those achievements in what is an utterly subjective creative endeavor of vastly varying content and factors, but importantly to create suspense and reason to have a multi-hundred million dollar profiting show for them every year!
      So what are you talking about? The only nominees are the ones given out. You mean to say the public doesn’t know the makeup of all the possibilities who are eligible on any given year.

      This silly outrageous outcry (since the record of ‘diversity’ recognition by the Academy over the years absolutely speaks for itself! Two aberrant years mean there’s this sudden change? Please!) has nothing to do with that. The fact is it is about a top five in acting and slides for picture and no ‘black’ principles made the list. They want to be on the final list!

      • Steve says:

        Votes given to white actors tend to cluster around white “stars,” but this clustering effect does not occur with black actors, where the votes are more evenly distributed – which is my theory but which seems reasonable – this would favor the appearance of those stars at the top of the list. Which seems obvious – but not to the dum dums who constitute the drive-by media and those poised to play the race card given any opportunity.

        Bear in mind if the votes were grouped by race, this would be more clear, but the votes aren’t “aggregated” that way. All the votes would need to be released in order to really know this, and which would resolve a lot of confusion.

  19. Axe says:

    Stallone hopefully will win and he could make a brief but inspiring speech that eludes indirectly to this silly controversy and echoes his character and what his “Rocky” movies actually say:
    Everyone deserves a shot, but that doesn’t mean everyone gets one. Whatever the case, whining about being a victim will get you nowhere. It’s all up to you to go for it. He could deliver that speech better than anybody. I seem to remember the same sentiment coming from George Clooney’s mouth in his best role so far “Michael Clayton” when he is schooling the nephew in the car.

  20. Cindy says:


  21. Mike Morales says:

    I cannot recall one time in two decades this guy said something profound or useful.

  22. stevenmillan says:

    Quincy Jones recently gave the best answer to this current Oscars controversy: “Either we can complain or we can fix it”. Simply Put.

  23. Wayne says:

    What is wrong with the black actor. You are the racist. Maybe you’re just not good enough. Stop crying like a bunch of babies and get over it. Once again let’s go ahead with 2nd best, blacks. The truth is we’re sick of your wining.

  24. Sasha says:

    You’re full of shit that you contacted him. He’s the most opportunist POS that ever lived. Where are the African Americans that he’s cast or had in prominent positions?
    This is more PR for his impending movies and more fodder for his massive ego. When it comes down to brass tacks, no one is interested (including the Hollywood African American movers and shakers, ie: directors and producers) in who gets what but themselves. It’s the way it is.
    The bottom line is the money made. Fucking period.
    And that goes for Clooney too. Just like Will SMith and his production co. See how many African Americans he’s hired for key jobs. None.
    Of course, the Academy needs to be more open but the majority, as you know, are old white men. They won’t be around forever and then, hopefully, the men and women, whatever their race, who excel in their field will gain the recognition that they deserve. SMH at those who would manipulate human dissonance for their own benefit.
    Let us look at who’s movies are coming out, shall we?

  25. adolph Gonzales says:

    @ George Clooney, thank you for speaking out for Hispanics, unfortunately and sadly U.S.born Hispanics are shoved in right along with the immigrants(nothing against them) but it’s like pushing us to the back to the end of the line. I believe it starts with the commercial agencies, they make it seem like an only white and black America.I was born in 57 and have seen prejudice, hate, heard, myself and others called, wet back, nigger, white trash gooks,etc. When will it end? And we America consider ourselves a godly nation

    • Lisa says:

      You make great points. But, unfortunately, whining and boycotting like this only make the situation worse and continue these racist attitudes on both sides. If you want to fix this, then get more black directors and actors in there. Jada should not boycott the oscars because her husband got passed over. I wish liberals (and you can’t find more than in Hollywood) would stop obsessing about race and get over it.

  26. S says:

    First off why do they have to be called African-American? You are an American period. Second i think it is ridiculous that skin color has anything to do with the Oscars. Who cares really!!! You either got nominated or you didn’t. If white Americans had white history month, white music awards, white tv channels, then we would be racist. The only people who keep this race crap going is them. Then you have an ass wipe like George Clooney who just needs to shut up.

    • Cindy says:

      I totally agree. The actors/actresses were nominated. And exactly I said the same thing. We don’t have a miss white america, wet (white entertainment network) etc. Who cares if they boycott & don’t watch. Oh well so what. So tired of them turning everything into a racist issue & Al Sharpton should keep his nose out of it. He is the racist one

    • Alex says:

      white history months are from march-january, white music awards are the Grammys, and white tv channels are virtually every major channel except Telemundo because none are minority-owned, including BET. The issue is the Oscars don’t claim to be “white” they claim to be the best overall, no bias… but it’s evident that it’s yet another thing that does not include minorities

  27. The only thing that should matter is the vote. This isn’t getting into college or getting a job. It’s a fricking award that people in the business give to other people in the business. This is a slippery slope. Georgie says at the end we also need to address a lack of Latinos what about Asians? Fililipinos? Middle Easterners?

    Heck, let’s just cut to the chase here and go ahead and mandate that all movie roles and awards (including BET awards) be given based, not on talent or exceptional performance, but rather on the need for proportional representation of the various ethnic/racial groups in America. Has it really come to this?

    • Alex says:

      I think it’s ridiculous that you find it preposterous to consider a vast range of people for roles… are you that shocked that not only whites should be considered. This is what you sound like “When we start considering everyone, it gets too complicated. Can’t we just stick to having whites dominate the industry in every capacity, even if there are other talented contributors?!!”

      BET awards are relevant because of crap like the Oscars. And BET gives as many awards to white folks as the Oscars gives to black folks.. only BET is transparent about its aims whereas the Oscars pretends to be inclusive and comprehensive.

      • “consider a vast range of people for roles” …screw this. Film is an art-form. Are we going to mandate that a certain percentage of all new art depicting humans must include black people? This is 2016. We have a black president, black CEOs and execs of major companies, black senators, lawyers, doctors. The barriers to entry for making films has been dramatically lowered. Nobody is preventing black people from making movies. Sometimes they do and have even won Oscars and other awards. Black people represent about 15% of the U.S. and it’s relatively rare that they pursue acting or film as so there aren’t many of them (relatively) in the biz to begin with. Most of those into acting and film are white. So the odd year or two when there aren’t any black people nominated in major categories has more to do with those numbers rather than some form of racism. How about basketball or football? Most of the top level athletes in these sports are black, thus the MVPs and all stars are mostly black and maybe some years, all black. Are white people complaining and forcing the hand of the NBA/NFL to include more whites on their teams? No, yet black people complain that there aren’t enough black coaches or owners etc. I’m not saying there aren’t certain times where intervention might be the right path, but it’s happening way too often and at some point it becomes less about trying to promote justice and balance and more about trying to gain some sort of advantage or special treatment whenever they can by playing the race card. Unfortunately, as we see over and over again, they’re rewarded for these tactics. It’s a sad time for America.

  28. Beaux says:

    Yeah the %’s are a bit off but there is only 12% of black people in america. I think we actually struggle more with the Hispanics in films. With the ratio of the amount of people we have… how many nominated people of color are you expecting? It’s hard to come by good talent and when you have such a minority of people to work with.. you tend to find less talent. You have a smaller pool of people. When I go see a movie I don’t think to myself hmm I hope the people are white so I feel more relatable. It doesn’t really make a difference to me. It’s really hard for me to say. I’m part of a very small minority group and rarely see people like me depicted on tv, but it’s pretty normal to me. There isn’t a lot of people out there like me and I don’t really expect the movies to adjust to what I relate to.

    • Alex says:

      You poor soul. Travel to your place of origin and watch a movie. Then you’ll know what white people feel like when they watch films in the US. The difference is, white people do not represent the masses in the US, yet they dominate the media outlets and studios. So the images we see are skewed in favor of a group that does not actually represent America. And the minorities end up feeling excluded and like outsiders or second-class citizens in their own country, even though together they form a substantial group.

  29. Loretta says:

    Love it when Liberals start eating their own…lol

  30. Axe says:

    I’m finally starting to understand the real issue here. Maybe the people complaining aren’t saying that the Academy is making choices based on racial bias, but that they are voting based on their tastes. And that is legitimate. You are going to do that no matter who you are, it’s human nature. Of course an older ‘white’ male is going to have different tastes and views on life than say a teenage ‘of color’ female. However by the track record the Academy has been if anything surprisingly diverse in its choices despite its membership makeup. The stats back that up within reason.
    No matter what you do with the membership, short of affirmative action (inherently unfair and biased itself) it’s not going to ever please everyone.
    So maybe these suggestions for All black awards or maybe an ‘of color’ acting category is the way to go.
    Does it mean all ‘non-whites’ in that category? Suppose it would as that would be more true to the actual population makeup of the country (though these are world awards in some ways). Otherwise you would have to have categories for all minority groups, which would wind up completely contradicting the whole point of having universal awards for the best to begin with. It would be so unwieldy and the long show broadcast made that much longer… probably a all out disaster all said and done.
    But then you have the issue of all the other categories beyond acting! Do they have to go by race as well? Talk about over-complicating simple movie awards for the best voted by industry peers!
    And then of course there eventually will be an outcry for all the actors who don’t know what sex they are to be equally treated by gender since it was done for race! And you’d have to add to Best Actor and Best Actress, Best “TransAct”. You can’t leave any groups out.

    • Axe says:

      I’m going to retract this to some degree, not by saying what I suggested wasn’t true or the solutions not possibly valid. It’s that I believe that great movies and performances do get a general consensus.
      A lot of people who are complaining about the all white nominees concede Will wasn’t close to being the best actor of the year and probably Leo was. “Twelve Years a Slave” was recognized as great by ‘white’ voters as probably “Bird Man” was by ‘of color’ voters and both in general by critics and audiences alike. I couldn’t disagree more about both being best picture of the year, but that’s one man’s opinion of these awards that are so highly subjective on widely varying subject matter with such a myriad of factors of difficulty in making that to pick the “best” even if it’s over 6,000 industry insiders voting is still absurd. That’s why The Oscars don’t “really” matter, not because of some perceived racial or gender bias due to the membership makeup. Do they matter to some degree for merit and credibility? Of course. To say you are an Academy Award nominee or winner means a lot. It is an automatic validation of a certain mandatory amount of high achievement and the process of peers lends prestige for sure.
      It’s just that the choices made every year or not so all important and will forever be subjective in something called the arts much less show biz much less Hollywood.
      Greatness wins out across the board, usually. Nothing is perfect ever in an imperfect world.

  31. JockO says:

    F**K Hollyweird…Spike Lee is a Bigot…ever hear him say anything about White people getting Wasted by his brothers & sisters ? Typical Coon but hey I boycott all their Butts by not buying in2 their Leftest Proggresive BullChit

  32. Deen says:

    To the people of color. You stayed! After You were let go! But on your own you didn’t grow and learn to fly but just whine and whine. So what are you Children going to throw Tantrums about tomorrow? Then you can whine and whine some more!

  33. Well, now, I read all the above and came to a single conclusion – there is not problem – there appears to be a new career choice these days — make an imagined problem, then milk it for all it is worth and keep referring to it as a ‘social problem,’ and see how many ‘big’ names you can get to pontificate on that ‘problem.’

    • Axe says:

      It’s called leftism. They fight the small fights, but they fight them hard! Make mountains out of mole hills (such as filthy rich privileged narcissists who play pretend for a living not getting their fair share of gold statues; though I must say I do admire actors and what they do and have great respect for the risk they took to do it) instead of fighting the BIG problems. Where are the leftists on such an issue today as deranged religious fanatics blowing up buildings and terrorizing free cities, shooting innocents in mass slaughters, kidnapping and beheading people who don’t share their view, raping women who have no freedom at all as if they’re taking a meal, throwing gays off roofs, and promising to kill all apostates and infidels and take over the world? That seems a bigger problem worth a harder fight doesn’t it? No they have to fight the terrible social injustices in this country first.
      Meanwhile this country is still the ultimate land of opportunity and probably if you measured by far the least racist place on Earth and yet the complaining never ends.

  34. So if the ones that have an issue with no blacks being nominated, does this mean that they cannot vote in the Democratic primary and have to become Republican?

  35. Dano says:

    So remember that Guild members. Next time you vote for an award recipient, make sure skin color comes before merit and talent.

    • Alex says:

      I’m sorry I don’t remember anyone saying that the black filmmakers they felt were snubbed were not merited– oh right, that was just your implicit bias against blacks. How about make sure that a person’s skin color does not automatically make you assume that they are more or less merited/talented than the other actors/filmmakers in the discussion?

      If this conversation were about white actors complaining that blacks were nominated and they were snubbed, you would undoubtedly assume the white actors were better qualified and the blacks were there as tokens. Idiot.

    • rkb555 says:

      Dano said “remember that Guild members. Next time you vote for an award recipient, make sure skin color comes before merit and talent.”
      Considering that 94 plus % of them are white, u make a valid case, THEY ALREADY DO.

    • DeePee says:

      They do that now. Why is it just assumed an all white male anything is merit and everything else is affirmative action?

  36. Francesco says:


    Let’s take a look at the African American nominees and winners in the top 5 categories over the last 20 years shall we.

    Best Picture:
    2014 – Selma – produced by Oprah Winfrey
    2013 – 12 Years a Slave – directed by Steve McQueen – *WON*
    2012 – Django Unchained – produced by Reginald Hudlin
    2009 – Precious – directed by Lee Daniels
    2009 – The Blind Side – produced by Broderick Johnson
    *McQueen and Daniels also nominated for Best Director

    Best Actor:
    2013 – Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave
    2012 – Denzel Washington – Flight
    2009 – Morgan Freeman – Invictus
    2006 – Will Smith – The Pursuit of Happyness
    2006 – Forest Whitaker – Last King of Scotland – *WON*
    2005 – Terrence Howard – Hustle & Flow
    2004 – Don Cheadle – Hotel Rwanda
    2004 – Jaimie Foxx* – Ray – *WON*
    2001 – Will Smithe – Ali
    2001 – Denzel Washington – Training Day – *WON*
    1999 – Denzel Washington – The Hurricane

    Best Actress:
    2012 – Quvenzhané Wallis – Beasts of the Southern Wild
    2011 – Viola Davis – The Help
    2009 – Gabourey Sidibe – Precious
    2001 – Halle Berry – Monster’s Ball – *WON*

    Best Supporting Actor:
    2013 – Barkhad Abdi – Captain Phillips
    2006 – Eddie Murphy – Dream Girls.
    2006 – Djimon Hounsou – Blood Diamond
    2004 – Jamie Foxx – Collateral
    2004 – Morgan Freeman – Million Dollar Baby – *WON*
    2003 – Djimon Hounsou – In America
    1999 – Michael Clarke Duncan – The Green Mile
    1996 – Cuba Gooding, Jr. – Jerry Maguire – *WON*

    Best Supporting Actress:
    2013 – Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave – *WON*
    2011 – Octavia Spencer – The Help – *WON*
    2009 – Mo’Nique – Precious – *WON*
    2008 – Taraji P. Henson – Benjamin Button
    2008 – Viola Davis – Doubt
    2007 – Ruby Dee – American Gangster
    2006 – Jennifer Hudson – Dreamgirls – *WON*
    2004 – Sophie Okonedo – Hotel Rwanda
    2002 – Queen Latifah – Chicago
    1996 – Marianne Jean-Baptiste – Secrets & Body of Lies

    So the race card being used is just pointless, i mean, we live in the 21st century, can’t we all just get along without having racial debates were none is really needed?……. If we stop choosing talent over skin color to be politically correct, well then what is the point of this award ceremony? #‎Norespectforart

    I mean, we can all debate who deserves an oscar, i mean i think Quentin Tarantino and Spielberg deserves an oscar nomination for directing. Some people like this, other like that. How about the chinese and japanese and vietnamese nominated? Latinos? Oh wait, there were none. No Norwegians actors were there either. And i know there are talented black actors and directors. But that doesn’t mean they automatically deserve an nomination does it? All great actors and directors has bad moments.

    • Axe says:

      You did some good research on this. You should post that all over the place to remind people of the facts! Meanwhile, you only have “African Americans” on there and there are plenty more ‘of color’ diverse nominations and wins to add to the list: Rinko Kikuchi, Adriana Barraza, Selma Hayek, Penélope Cruz, Ang Lee, Javier Bardem, Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro González Iñárritu are just a few.

  37. Axe says:

    And where is the acknowledgment, or should it be outcry? (something so simple as Hollywood movie awards are getting very confusing now) that the last two years in a row the Academy chose Hispanic directors for the directing trophy, and it may happen for the third consecutive year? Must be a lack of diversity in the director’s branch and a positive bias brewing toward Mexico. Must be some hidden agenda going on like a NAFTA type trade deal that we don’t know about. The Academy president, an African American woman, should investigate the matter.

    • rkb555 says:

      ” But that doesn’t mean they automatically deserve an nomination does it? All great actors and directors has bad moments.”
      Even though positions of power and decision-making is woefully under represented, this is an industry where minorities make up nearly 1/5 of actors and u don’t think its suspicious that a grp that size doesn’t get 1 nomination for 2 yrs straight. 1 yr may be a bad moment but 2 ? The award show has been around for 87 yrs, and yet if u haven’t notice, the only credence hollywood gives to quality films for blacks falls mainly into 3 broad grps: rags-to-riches, thug life and segregation type movies. 87 freaking yrs and to this day minorities are still typecast.

  38. says:

    I agree with Mr. Clooney and we should focus on all not just African americans, the Latinos and other races have it worse,. I think the selfishness of just one race crying about it when they have had more attention from the Oscars than others, so stop this situation. Enough.. its not all about one race and you are doing a disadvantage to the African americans. How would you like for the Hispanic and Asian and Indian community to boycote all movies done by African american actors and directors, not fair, right. Be less selfish and consider the rest of the races not just one. The Oscars have done a good job to fix this and it is an on going process that will take years to fix. STOP THE RACE CARD, ITS NO LONGER JUST ABOUT ONE RACE CONSIDER THE OTHER RACES/GROUPS FOR GOD SAKE. I do not feel sorry or support any of you who chose to boycote the Oscars at all. not right, not fair and very selfish. Sorry for spelling errors wrote this fast.

    • DeeP says:

      The issue does include all races. Diversity means all people. Not excluding Caucasians just including non-Caucasians. The Latin community should join this cause as well as the Native American and Asian community. Your point about Norwegians is assanine. This is an outcry against an industry that is systematically excusionary against women and people of color. It is not exactly because of racism or sexism it is because of systemic apathy. The studio heads see rooms of all white men and NO ONE sees anything wrong with that. Same as the Oscar ballot.

  39. Clooney’s mantle is full…bank account…full…but ego needs stroked…

  40. Starving Artist says:

    What a hypocrite he is, him and his buddies have had a lock down on Hollywood for decades! F U Clooney!

  41. Jaddy Baddy says:

    I could give a rat’s a$$ about the Oscars, to me it’s just
    a live stock show for pretty people. What I am hearing
    is a call for the Oscars to include minorities in the awards,
    not just in the show, but to require a certain degree of
    inclusion of minorities in the actual nominations,
    themselves, a quota. Affirmative Action not only
    in the casting of minorities; the hiring of minority
    directors, camera men and women, grips, pa’s and
    behind the scenes positions; but affirmative action in
    the distribution of recognition, whether those minority
    performances deserve that recognition, or not.
    Turning the Oscars into just another prize for

    Is the Oscars supposed to be Noah’s Ark, two of each
    kind? How pitiful.

  42. Brad says:

    This is the most boring discussion out of Hollywood in a few decades at least.
    But they all love to one up each other on how broad minded, sensitive and concerned they are about nonsense like this. The whole thing just further proves how little the rest of the world, that is the world outside Hollywood, cares about Hollywood, or the Oscars, or especially Spike Lee.

  43. TheBigBangof20thCenturyPopCulture says:

    In other news, movies have sucked for the last 10 years, and so who gets nominated, wins or loses doesn’t really matter. There’s a reason why the NY Times’ list of Oscar winning films ended in 2002.

  44. Montana Wick says:

    Odd, so are all those running on the democrat ticket, bet Gorgie boy won’t complain about that.

  45. Kay says:

    Dear Ms. Jada P-Smith and Mr. George Clooney: Please allow me to address Ms. P-Smith first. Are you aware that you were able to effectively slap the face of every single person who was thrilled beyond, my poor imagination to get nominated for an Award this year? Actually, an award that truly doesn’t mean all that much to anyone that is not able to work in the entertainment industry? I am such a fan of your husbands movies. Your entire immediate family was born to such a charmed life, that you’ll never want for anything as mundane as a bag of groceries, and yet 99% of the people who ARE able to pay to sit for a couple of hours and forget that they ARE in need of groceries, or heat or medicine. WE have made it possible for you and your husband and now your children (whether talented of not) to live a life of Luxury with no idea how the real world lives. If you strongly believe that the people nominated this year are the WRONG actors, at least give them a classy word of congratulations If you can’t do that, then maybe you and your family should give away every 240 Million Dollars, and get jobs like real people. You know, one of the saddest things to me about your behavior for this Awards Show, is I will NEVER be able to enjoy a Will Smith movie again, without thinking about this selfish act. Never! Why, did you have to Slap So Many Faces in one fell swoop?

    As for Mr. Clooney, you KNOW what it’s like to live in Kentucky, You were born to a legacy that at least helped you along your rise to a Wonderful Career. Do you honestly think an Award show like the Oscars needs a formula? Just a FILL in the Blank ballot, with Best Actor, white guy, African American guy, Mexican Guy, Latin America Guy, ?and wait, should it be longer with a German Guy and Italian Guy, and what happens if a particular group is not represented? Should THAT category be eliminated? And will these same formula’s apply to ALL Awards Shows? The BET Awards? The People’s Choice Awards. Wait. LOL if it’s truly a People’s Choice award, the ones forking out the money for your extravagant lives, we just spend our money and go to WATCH a flick and forget that we don’t have houses in every country or every town and we don’t have choices of which car we’ll take for a spin today. We just hope to keep at least one running now.

    I’m not trying to be sarcastic. I’m hoping you will ALL have a little perspective. WHY, WHY, WHY is EVERYTHING still so racially divided when THESE are the days we all truly need each other. So, Please Ms. Smith, no more face slapping? If you ever present an award again, maybe you’d consider NOT taking it. Or, donate it to a woman on the street. Most people don’t make the value of just ONE of those “Gift Bags” in an entire year!

    • Cindy says:

      You are so right. I am so sick of the race card. It’s used any time they don’t get their way. Goodness if we had a “miss white america” or wet (white entertainment network) it would be the biggest controservy . I have black friends that I love like a sister they are sick of this s— too.

    • Rachel says:

      I don’t understand your false equivalency that saying minorities deserve more acknowledgement for their merits/talents means that none of the white people nominated deserve it…
      Just for a minute, don’t think about how the feelings of all the white Hollywood actors and directors might be hurt, instead put yourself in the shoes of the minorities.

      How would you feel if at your job, no matter how great of a job you did, your boss never praised you for your efforts (i.e. No awards, raises, promotions)? And in this same scenario, a group of your coworkers were getting these praises that were denied to you. Now if you look at this group, yes some worked really hard and deserve it, hell maybe even all of them worked really hard and deserve it, but does that make you feel any better about you being ignored and excluded? If your work performance was just as good (maybe even better), and you don’t get recognition for it while others do, wouldn’t you be upset? Now imagine if the reason for your exclusion was based on something discriminatory like race, gender, orientation… That you deserve recognition but won’t get it because you’re one way instead of the other.

      And this is what had been happening, people of color don’t get the recognition they deserve for their talents. I’ve seen a lot of people claiming that asking for recognition somehow means PoC are asking to just have awards in nominations just because of the color of their skin, when this isn’t the case. Depending on the category, people of color can have as low as 1% representation amongst the winners. Now everyone has their own tastes, but these awards are supposed to be chosen by people in the industry, so you would think that it really was the best person or film but obviously this isn’t the case. I refuse to believe anyone in their right mind can look at the history of nominations and winners and say there’s nothing wrong with the fact that ~95% of them are white, like PoC haven’t had any performances deserving of recognition so of course they wouldn’t get nominated.

      So to get back to your first point, how exactly does saying people of color deserve recognition for their achievements in anyway “slap the faces” of the nominees? And if you can read all of this and your biggest concern is still the feelings of (the largely white) pool of nominees, and not of the underrepresented people of color then I’d have to say your priorities are all kinds of wrong.

    • Sherri says:

      You don’t hear the Latinos complaining ! It’s always the African Americans complaining!! The Whites didn’t complain when The Help won oscars, because they deserved to win!!! Why do they always complain?

      • Sharis says:

        The other minorities don’t complain because when African-Americans, the complaints are inclusive for every other minority. In other words, blacks do the dirty work and everyone else jumps on the band wagon.

  46. Oh Lookie, another liberal Elite speaking out about how unfair it is if your black and do not get what YOU think you should get. I thought this is an award for who did the best job in the best roll.

  47. Jacene says:

    Open Mouth…Insert Foot, George. I’ve known GC for 35 years. We were in Brian Robbins acting class together. So it doesn’t surprise me that he doesn’t get it either. Most Actors are like Sheeple.

    The Academy Awards has nothing to do with “AFFIRMATIVE ACTION,” like some of these idiots do. The Oscars are solely based on Performance Standards only, NOT your “Skin-Color.”

    Like in 2012-2013 when “The Help” & “12 Years a Slave” cleaned-up on Oscars.

    So, if suddenly, blacks are demanding to be ‘Nominated’ for skin color, as opposed to Performance, the OSCARS will FOREVER lose Credibility. Let the complainers start their own Awards show for their actors….OH, that’s right they already have those….for Blacks only.

    The BET Awards
    The Candace Awards
    The Coretta Scott King Awards
    The Golden Eagle Awards
    Langston Hughes Awards
    Miss Black America
    Miss Black USA
    NAACP Image Awards
    NAACP Theatre Awards

    In 1964 Sidney Poitier Won the Oscar for Best Actor. There ain’t NO Classy Sidney Poitier’s NO-MO.

    • RMC says:

      @Jacene How can an awards show be credible if it’s basing it’s choices on the limited scope of projects that are greenlit in an industry that does not reflect the society in which it’s based? And the subject matter of those limited few that are selected just HAPPEN to center on just a few subject matters, such as slavery or criminality.

      Plus you never even bothered to address how long it’s been since an Asian American, or the myriad other nationalities that make up America, have been – not just chosen for an award in any of these shows – but starred in any of the projects that are chosen. Are you saying it just so happens that the BEST actors, camera people, writers, executive producers, gaffers and casting directors just happen to be white?

      Just because you go to wikipedia and cut and paste a bunch of awards shows that were created in RESPONSE TO continued lack of diversity in Hollywood, you don’t prove your supposed point.

      THIS ISN’T ABOUT AWARDS SHOWS. Look at the school systems. Look at the institutions that control the direction of most young people’s lives in America. Look at local government that control things such as WATER SYSTEMS, AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS, ARTS & MUSIC PROGRAMS (The few that still exist in major cities). After that, look at this (For the 3rd time):

      Example 1: Let’s take the top Professional Unions in entertainment (writers, cameramen, producers, actors, stuntmen, special effects, etc) and let’s see their racial makeup today, in percentages. That will tell the story of what needs to be worked on. Example 2: Let’s take the racial makeup of Los Angeles in percentages, then apply those percentages to the entertainment industry, which is one of the largest employers to in the city. The numbers DON’T ADD UP.

  48. Tyler says:

    I agree, we need to take half of the white actors out and nominate blacks, on the other side of the coin we need to get rid of half of all black athletes since #NBA_SO_BLACK Football as well. -End Sarcasm Obviously blacks are better at some things and whites others… We should CELEBRATE OUR differences not try to force us all into the same mold aka robots.

  49. Sara Mornell says:

    As usual George is right on the mark. It is a travesty that the films and actors he mentioned were not nominated. However this is a massive issue that needs to be addressed in all areas when it comes to diversity and casting in general. I am so tired of watching a movie and seeing every role filled by a “name”… I go to the movies to escape and yet am pulled out of the story every time a known actor pops up in one scene. Why not demand that more working actors of all race and type are given more opportunity? Not just African Americans but actors of all types, races, sizes… The leads of film and TV are making millions and yet actors who play smaller roles are having to fly themselves to location, put themselves up, and getting paid scale. Studios should be investing more into unknowns of ALL ethnic backgrounds, all types, sizes, races, ages and stop focusing on how many A-list mostly white actors they can get.

More Film News from Variety