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Al Sharpton: Reverend Blasts Film Industry For Lack of Racial Diversity in Oscar Nominations

( [email protected] ) Jan 15, 2016 11:37 AM EST
Because no minorities were nominated in the acting categories of the 88th Academy Awards this week, Rev. Al Sharpton took to the air waves Thursday to claim the situation shows the industry's "fraudulent image of progressive and liberal politics and policies." He announced he is convening a Hollywood Summit in February to highlight those studios and others in the film industry who aren't "living up to their obligations."
Mike Segar/Reuters

Because no minorities were nominated in the acting categories of the 88th Academy Awards this week, Rev. Al Sharpton took to the airwaves Thursday to claim the situation shows the industry's "fraudulent image of progressive and liberal politics and policies." He announced he is convening a Hollywood Summit in February to highlight those studios and others in the film industry who aren't "living up to their obligations."

"Hollywood is like the Rocky Mountains, the higher up you get the whiter it gets," Sharpton stated.

Sharpton expressed concern after this year's Oscar nominations were released, and no African-Americans were up for one of the 20 available slots in the four acting categories nominated by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 

"It almost seems like a sequel to last year," commented Gil Robertson, president of the African American Film Critics Association. "Certainly, the people who were nominated gave performances that were deserving of noms. But one would have hoped that given the nominations a film like Straight Outta Compton has received from other guilds, it would have received a best picture nomination. That just leaves you scratching your head, because there is overlap between the Academy and the other groups. So where does the disconnect take place?"

The protest hashtag last year to the same minority-free development was #OscarsSoWhite, cites The Hollywood Reporter. During 2011 was the last time before last year all of the acting contenders were white, and then again in 1998.

"Yet again, deserving Black actors and directors were ignored by the Academy -- which reinforces the fact that there are few, if any, Blacks with real power in Hollywood," Sharpton stated on his National Action Network Facebook page.

"Being left out of Awards consideration is about more than just recognition for a job well done; winning an Oscar has long-lasting cultural and economic impacts."

He said it is for precisely for these reasons that he met with Sony Pictures last year and why he will continue the fight to bring equality to the film industry. "We will not sit idly by and allow our community to be disregarded."

Not all people support Sharpton's motives, without referencing on social media that he makes a living from "stirring up trouble" and "citing riots." In fact, many people in the past 24 hours reference Sharpton's alleged hefty outstanding tax bill.

In this year's program, "The Revenant" led the nominations with a total of 12, followed by "Mad Max: Fury Road" with 10, and "The Martian" with seven.

The Academy Awards will be hosted by Chris Rock and will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday, Feb. 28, live on ABC.

Tags : Sharpton, Al Sharpton, Oscar, Racial Issues, #OscarsSoWhite, Sony Pictures, National Action Network, #TalkRadio, Oscar nominations, 2016 Oscars, Hollywood Summit, 88th Academy Awards, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Chris Rock, Dolby Theatre, Gil Robertson, president of the African American Film Critics Association, Racial Equality