Director Spike Lee confirmed that he would not attend this year’s Academy Awards this year and demanded that white nominees and studio heads speak out about the lack of diversity among this year’s nominees.
“I’ve not heard except from Charlotte Rampling, one person - I’d like to hear from white nominees, studio heads – let’s hear from them,” said the director during an interview with TheWrap at the Sundance Film Festival. Pulling out a Blackberry, the director reeled off a list of Hollywood stars who marched with Martin Luther King in 1963:
“At the time, these were the biggest stars in Hollywood. They marched with Dr. King. Compare to today – very few. Love the George Clooney, love the Jonathan Demme, love the Danny DeVito… but those are few. A lot of people are silent. Think about it.”
He continued: “Those were the biggest Hollywood stars at the time. We’re not seeing that today, in my opinion… I’ve not heard except from Charlotte Rampling, one person – I’d like to hear from white nominees, studio heads – let’s hear from them. Name me one studio head who’s gone on the record and said anything.”
Update: Warner Brothers reminded TheWrap that CEO Kevin Tsujihara has made this statement:
The changes being made by AMPAS are a great step toward broadening the diversity and inclusivity of the Academy and, by extension, the industry. Entertainment is a global business, and the content we produce and its creators need to reflect the diversity and different perspectives of the worldwide audience we serve. At Warner Bros, we’re committed to this goal, but there is more we must and will do.
- Kevin Tsujihara, Chairman and CEO, Warner Bros.
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