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Oprah Winfrey, Ava DuVernay Attend White House Screening of ‘Selma’

Oprah Winfrey, rapper Common and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) were among the guests for a White House screening of the movie “Selma” on Friday hosted by President Obama.

Also on the guest list, according to a White House official, were director Ava DuVernay; star David Oyelowo, who plays Martin Luther King Jr.; Carmen Ejogo, who portays Coretta Scott King; and actor Tim Roth, who portrays Gov. George Wallace.

Winfrey is a producer of the movie and portrays civil rights activist Annie Lee Cooper. Common and John Legend were nominated for an Oscar for the movie for their song “Glory.”

Lewis, a leader of the Student Non Violent Coordinating Committee, helped lead the Selma-to-Montgomery march on March 7, 1965, that was stopped at the Edmund Pettus Bridge when state troopers attacked the demonstrators. The broadcasting of the event on nationwide TV that day, known as “Bloody Sunday,” proved to be a turning point in the push for a Voting Rights Act.

The screening itself was closed to the press.

The White House announced the screening on Thursday afternoon, just hours after the Oscar nominations were announced. Although “Selma” received nominations for picture and song, the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences have been criticized for snubbing the movie in other categories, like DuVernay for director and Oyelowo for actor.

Paramount on Friday announced that cast members from “Selma” would participate in a march in Selma, Alabama, on Sunday to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

 

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