The dearth of Oscar nominations for “Selma” — especially the omissions of director Ava DuVernay and star David Oyelowo — were a hot topic of discussion at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Image Awards Nominees’ Luncheon on Saturday at the Beverly Hilton.
Henry Sanders, who plays Cager Lee in the film, said the cast and crew had higher hopes, but appreciated the nominations the film did receive.
“I was a little bummed,” Sanders admitted. “I felt that Ava and David should’ve been nominated. Again, we’re all grateful that we got a best picture nomination, and [that] Common’s song has been nominated again.”
Many attendees at the awards luncheon noted that the snub of the critically praised film (documenting one of the most important moments in the Civil Rights Movement) was a reminder of the lack of opportunities for minorities in Hollywood.
“I’m not as upset as everybody else,” said Chris Spencer, creator of BET’s “Real Husbands of Hollywood.” “Before we get mad at the Oscar nominations, we have to have more vehicles to be nominated… Yes, I think ‘Selma’ got snubbed, but many films got snubbed. But listen, f— the Oscars. We have the Image Awards. I think we get too hung up on the trophy. It’s a trophy,” he reiterated.
NAACP President Cornell William Brooks echoed Spencer’s sentiment, emphasizing that the “Selma” snubs reinforce the importance of the Image Awards in celebrating people of color in entertainment.
“While I’m perplexed by the lack of diversity (in Oscar nominations), I’m excited and exhilarated by our celebration of diversity,” Brooks said. “Because here’s an undeniable fact: We have tremendous talent, tremendous artistry within communities of color. It cannot be denied. We’re not going to allow any awards show or any particular competition to overshadow what we’re celebrating here today.”
“Showbiz Tonight” correspondent Nischelle Turner and “The Wedding Ringer” co-star Affion Crockett co-hosted the luncheon, which included a live performance from Liv Warfield, a member of Prince’s New Power Generation.
(Pictured: Nischelle Turner and Affion Crockett at the NAACP Image Awards)