Sir Ian McKellen doesn’t think black people are the only group ignored by Hollywood, and said gay people are also being “disregarded.”
“As a representative of the industry they’re in, it’s receiving complaints which I fully sympathize with,” the 76-year-old actor told Sky News in response to the #OscarsSoWhite backlash. “It’s not only black people who’ve been disregarded by the film industry, it used to be women, it’s certainly gay people to this day. And these are all legitimate complaints and the Oscars are the focus of those complaints, of course.”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has come under fire for the second year in a row after failing to nominate a single actor of color in any acting categories.
Last week, director Spike Lee announced that he would not attend what he called the “lily-white Oscars,” while leading entertainment figures Will and Jada Pinkett Smith and “Straight Outta Compton” producer (and Oscar voter) Will Packer criticized the persistent status quo.
On Friday, the Academy announced a plan to double the number of female and minority members in the organization by 2020.
McKellen is homosexual himself and is also the co-founder of the gay rights group Stonewall.