You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jackson makes plea to Hollywood

Civil rights leader wants more minorities in showbiz

Just in time for the Academy Awards, Jesse Jackson’s renewing a push for greater inclusion of minorities in showbiz.

The civil rights leader asserts that the timing’s right to raise the issue, at a time when there’s been widespread recognition received by such actors as Forest Whitaker, Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson – all front-runners for Oscars.

“While I feel joy for those outstanding performances, my concern is that people will take these as a substitute for progress,” Jackson said in an interview Wednesday with Daily Variety. “We want to keep the light on unfinished business.”

Jackson – who protested the 1996 Academy Awards due to the lack of African-American nominees – said that membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences needs to be expanded to include more African-Americans than the current 110 of 5,830.

“It’s really an issue of infrastructure,” Jackson added. “The voting doesn’t at all reflect the current reality of the population.”

Jackson’s in Los Angeles this week to lay the groundwork for an April conference, organized by Rainbow Push Entertainment Project and focusing on the issues of parity and equity.

No date’s been set yet but the confab would be designed to bring together top execs and experts to seek solutions in several areas of concern:

  • Hosts on many cable networks are nearly all Caucasian, or as Jackson puts it “All day, all night, all white.”

  • Minorities have limited access to jobs at major talent agencies.

  • Casting of minority actors remains a problem. Jackson noted, pointing to a UCLA study by Russell Robinson, released in December and showing that found 69 percent of Hollywood roles were reserved for white actors.

More Film

  • Casey Affleck'The Old Man and The

    Casey Affleck on What He's Learned From the #MeToo Movement (EXCLUSIVE)

    Just in time for the Academy Awards, Jesse Jackson’s renewing a push for greater inclusion of minorities in showbiz. The civil rights leader asserts that the timing’s right to raise the issue, at a time when there’s been widespread recognition received by such actors as Forest Whitaker, Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson – all front-runners […]

  • Junji Sakamoto Tokyo International Film Festival

    Tokyo Festival Sets Japan Film Pair in Main Competition

    Just in time for the Academy Awards, Jesse Jackson’s renewing a push for greater inclusion of minorities in showbiz. The civil rights leader asserts that the timing’s right to raise the issue, at a time when there’s been widespread recognition received by such actors as Forest Whitaker, Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson – all front-runners […]

  • Robert Redford attends the premiere of

    Robert Redford Backtracks on Retiring From Acting: 'That Was A Mistake' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Just in time for the Academy Awards, Jesse Jackson’s renewing a push for greater inclusion of minorities in showbiz. The civil rights leader asserts that the timing’s right to raise the issue, at a time when there’s been widespread recognition received by such actors as Forest Whitaker, Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson – all front-runners […]

  • Christopher Nolan

    Film News Roundup: Christopher Nolan Honored by Digital Entertainment Group

    Just in time for the Academy Awards, Jesse Jackson’s renewing a push for greater inclusion of minorities in showbiz. The civil rights leader asserts that the timing’s right to raise the issue, at a time when there’s been widespread recognition received by such actors as Forest Whitaker, Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson – all front-runners […]

  • 'That Time of Year' Review

    Film Review: 'That Time of Year'

    Just in time for the Academy Awards, Jesse Jackson’s renewing a push for greater inclusion of minorities in showbiz. The civil rights leader asserts that the timing’s right to raise the issue, at a time when there’s been widespread recognition received by such actors as Forest Whitaker, Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson – all front-runners […]

  • 'Maiden' Review: Sailing Doc Spotlights Turning

    Film Review: 'Maiden'

    Just in time for the Academy Awards, Jesse Jackson’s renewing a push for greater inclusion of minorities in showbiz. The civil rights leader asserts that the timing’s right to raise the issue, at a time when there’s been widespread recognition received by such actors as Forest Whitaker, Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson – all front-runners […]

  • 'Meeting Gorbachev' Review: Werner Herzog's Disappointingly

    Film Review: 'Meeting Gorbachev'

    Just in time for the Academy Awards, Jesse Jackson’s renewing a push for greater inclusion of minorities in showbiz. The civil rights leader asserts that the timing’s right to raise the issue, at a time when there’s been widespread recognition received by such actors as Forest Whitaker, Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson – all front-runners […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content