With the Oscars just around the corner, the nominations for the prestigious award are stirring up controversy again. Straight Outta Compton producer Ice Cube was asked to weigh in on the lack of diversity in the Oscar nominations. For the second year in a row, all 20 acting nominees are white. What Cube had to say might be surprising given his popular film was snubbed by the Academy.
Ice Cube’s Straight Outta Compton was nominated for Best Original Screenplay; however, many believe the Academy snubbed the film by failing to nominate any of its actors, as well as the failure to nominate it for Best Picture. Straight Outta Compton came out last summer in theaters and proved to be a big hit at the box office, raking in over $200 million worldwide.
Appearing Friday on Britain’s Graham Norton Show with Ride Along 2 co-star Kevin Hart, Ice Cube was asked what he thought about the lack of diversity pertaining to this year’s Oscar nominations as well as the boycott of the show which was started up by actress Jada Pinkett Smith and director Spike Lee. Ice Cube was asked if he will also boycott the show to which Ice replied he won’t be boycotting the Oscars, even if he decides not to attend this year.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) January 22, 2016
“I never used to go anyway,” he said. “You can’t boycott something that you never went to anyway. That’s kinda weird.”
Why would Ice Cube stay home from the Oscars? Besides it being something he never went to anyway, he adds that since he wasn’t nominated, it would be appropriate for him not to attend the ceremony.
“I look at it like a horse race. Once your horse loses the race, you tear up the ticket, go home. Back on out. We don’t do movies for the industry, we do movies for the fans, for the people. And you know, the industry, if they give you a trophy or not, or they pat you on the back or not, it’s nice but it’s not something you should dwell on.”
Ice Cube went on to say he’s satisfied with Straight Outta Compton’s reception and to complain about the film lacking Oscar nominations would be “ridiculous.” The movie was highly praised from many movie goers and reached a wide number of people, which Ice Cube said was his intention when making the film.
“We got accolades from all levels, from our core fans to our curious fans, from people who didn’t even think they wanted to see that movie. I think an older generation got an understanding on why we did that kind of music and the younger generation got a history lesson, and we got so much praise for the movie, it’s like how could you be mad because one other academy or guild or anybody didn’t say [we’re] number one? It’s crying about not having enough icing on your cake. It’s just ridiculous.”
Uproxx reports that Ice Cube’s response to the “Oscars So White” boycott is twofold: one, Ice Cube isn’t allowing Hollywood’s power structure upset him, and two, a trophy can never acknowledge the dedication and work Ice Cube put into Straight Outta Compton. The film was a labor of love for Ice Cube, and he’s proud of it. Straight Outta Compton is a reminder of the influence his rap group N.W.A. had on music today.
— BIZPAC Review (@BIZPACReview) January 25, 2016
While Ice Cube isn’t holding any grudges against the Academy, the same can’t be said for one of the executive producers of Straight Outta Compton, Will Packer. Packer, however, is angrier about the lack of diversity in the nominations and called the lack of diversity a “complete embarrassment.”
In response to the “Oscars So White” controversy, Packer wrote an impassioned post on Facebook, listing African-American actors, directors, and producers he wanted to acknowledge as being “on top of their game this year.” Idris Elba, Michael B. Jordan, and Will Smith were a few of the Hollywood stars mentioned.
What do you think of Ice Cube’s stance on the Oscars?
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]