In a lengthy Facebook post, Packer applauded performances by performers of color and called his fellow Academy members to action, pleading with them to focus on hiring minorities in the future. He also mentions that the all-white acting nominees and the resulting #OscarsSoWhite Twitter trend cast a shadow on the entire ceremony.
“But who I really want to applaud are some other actors, directors and producers who were at the top of their game this year,” Packer wrote. “A list that includes, but is not limited to, Idris Elba, Michael B. Jordan, Will Smith, John Boyega, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tessa Thompson, Audra McDonald, Adepero Oduye, Samuel L.Jackson, Oshea Jackson Jr, Jason Mitchell, Corey Hawkins, F. Gary Gray and Ryan Coogler. Yes, they made us laugh. Yes, they made us cry. Yes, they made us angry. Yes, they made us think. Yes, they are all black. No, not one was nominated for the movie industry’s highest honor.”
He added, “To my Academy colleagues, WE HAVE TO DO BETTER. Period. The reason the rest of the world looks at us like we have no clue is because in 2016 it’s a complete embarrassment to say that the heights of cinematic achievement have only been reached by white people. I repeat—it’s embarrassing. It’s unfair to the performers of color who sacrificed so much, laid it all on the line AND DELIVERED with their projects this year. It’s also unfair to the white actors, writers, producers and directors who gave everything they had to create career defining content only to have it marred by the fact that a lack of diversity calls into question the legitimacy of The Academy’s choices.”
Packer was not the only one to weigh in on the dearth of minority nominees today. Oscar host Chris Rock shared this promo for the awards, in which he refers to the ceremony as the “White BET Awards.”
— Chris Rock (@chrisrock) January 15, 2016