David Oyelowo, whose performance as Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma was passed over for an Oscar nomination last year, has addressed the lack of diversity in the 2016 list of nominees.
The British actor in his remarks at a Los Angeles gala honouring Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, said the group “has a problem” that “needs to be solved.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Oyelowo recounted how he met with Isaacs after his Oscar snub in 2015. “A year ago, I did a film called Selma, and after the Academy Awards, Cheryl invited me to her office to talk about what went wrong then,” he said. “We had a deep and meaningful [conversation]. For 20 opportunities to celebrate actors of colour, actresses of colour, to be missed last year is one thing; for that to happen again this year is unforgivable.”
“This institution doesn’t reflect its president and it doesn’t reflect this room,” he added. “I am an Academy member and it doesn’t reflect me, and it doesn’t reflect this nation.”
Oyelowo’s comments come after filmmaker Spike Lee and actress Jada Pinkett Smith said they would not attend this year’s Oscars ceremony over the lack of diversity in the nominees. On Monday, Isaacs said the Academy will take “dramatic steps” to address the issue.