David Oyelowo is one of the most insightful ambassadors for inclusion in the film industry. As he was breaking through in Selma, the Oxford native born to Nigerian parents was in the lengthy process of developing A United Kingdom. In fact, four of his last five films (A United Kingdom, Queen of Katwe, Five Nights in Maine, and Selma) have been directed by women, and that isn’t a coincidence.
The low ratings for this year’s Oscars show were down to the boycotts and the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, civil rights leaders have claimed. This year’s event, hosted by Chris Rock, was watched by 34.3 million people, the lowest figure in eight years for the annual awards beano, and down three million from last year. The reverend Al Sharpton, who urged people to switch off on Sunday night has claimed a victory from the numbers.
Twitter/Total Beauty On Sunday night, Whoopi Goldberg walked the red carpet at the 88th Academy Awards showing off a chest tattoo that we had no idea she had. We weren’t the only ones who were surprised – beauty site Total Beauty tweeted that they had no idea, either. The only problem? They mistakenly identified Whoopi Goldberg as being Oprah Winfrey.
Just blocks from the Dolby Theatre on Sunday, the Rev. Al Sharpton led about 70 demonstrators in a rally and march circle to protest the lack of diversity among this year’s Oscar nominees. “You are out of time,” Sharpton said, addressing the Academy. Speaking to demonstrators gathered in a strip mall parking lot at Sunset and Highland, Sharpton promised a longer protest, along with pressure on advertisers, if the situation doesn’t change next year.
While some in Hollywood debated whether Chris Rock should drop out as host of this year’s Oscar telecast as repudiation of the award’s grievous lack of non-white nominees, count Angela Bassett as being firmly in favor of the star comedian taking the stage on Sunday night. “I’m supportive of the host this year,” Bassett, who costars in the upcoming action sequel London Has Fallen, told Yahoo Movies. Bassett, who was nominated in 1994 for her performance as Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do With It?, says she won’t be attending the ceremony this year, but she’s very interested in watching it on television.
Milton Justice, who helmed ‘Down and Out in America’, which won the Oscar in 1986, and is a member of the Academy’s documentary branch, has penned a searing indictment of the row in a piece for The Hollywood Reporter. “I’m also shocked at the presumption of the president of the Academy to meet with David Oyelowo to explain to him 'what went wrong’ because he wasn’t nominated last year for his portrayal of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma.
Oscars host Chris Rock will still host the annual awards show but will be rewriting his opening speech after the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. There’s been an uneasy divide in Hollywood over the last week, after not a single actor of colour received an Oscar nomination for the upcoming awards ceremony, igniting debate suggesting there was a severe lack of diversity in the film industry. Academy Awards producer Reginald Hudlin revealed that Rock will continue as host and tweak his planned speech.
“My first look is inspired by the incredible women nominated for best director,” she says, as the video is overlaid by images of Adam McKay, Tom McCarthy, George Miller, Lenny Abrahamson and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.