The lack of diversity in the Oscar nominations was one of the big talking points when they were announced earlier this week. Straight Outta Compton is one of the films that was mostly overlooked, and now a producer on the biopic has voiced his concerns about the fact that all of the nominations were white.
In fact, Will Packer took to Facebook to launch a tirade against the Academy for the lack of diversity across the Oscar nominations, the crux of which was that they simply have to do better when it comes to the diverseness of their nominees.
“WE HAVE TO DO BETTER. Period. The reason the rest of the world looks at us like we have no clue is because in 2016 it’s a complete embarrassment to say that the heights of cinematic achievement have only been reached by white people. I repeat—it’s embarrassing. It’s unfair to the performers of color who sacrificed so much, laid it all on the line AND DELIVERED with their projects this year. It’s also unfair to the white actors, writers, producers and directors who gave everything they had to create career defining content only to have it marred by the fact that a lack of diversity calls into question the legitimacy of The Academy’s choices.”
Straight Outta Compton only received one Oscar nomination earlier this week, with Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff, S. Leigh Savidge, and Alan Werkus claiming the Best Original Screenplay nod.
There was widespread dismay that Straight Outta Compton didn’t receive further Oscar nominations in the fields of Best Picture, Best Director, for F. Gary Gray, while it was also believed that the young cast should have been recognised in the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actors categories.
Ice Cube, who was obviously a member of N.W.A alongside Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, MC Ren, and DJ Yella and a producer on Straight Outta Compton, opened up about the lack of nominations for black creatives at the Oscars, insisting that while he was angry about it, he wasn’t surprised.
During his appearance on Thursday’s The Wendy Williams Show, via USA Today, Ice Cube admitted, “I’m not pissed. You know, I’m not surprised. It’s the Oscars, you know, they do what they do. The people loved the movie, the people supported the movie – No. 1 at the box office, over $200 million worldwide. I can’t be mad, you know? I can’t be mad.”
Straight Outta Compton was one of the biggest surprises of the summer, grossing $200.8 million from its $28 million budget, while it was also met with mostly positive reviews critically too.
But it wasn’t just Straight Outta Compton that was overlooked by the Academy. In fact, in his lengthy post that lambasted the Academy’s oversights, Will Packer also praised the likes of Idris Elba, Michael B. Jordan, Will Smith, John Boyega, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tessa Thompson, Audra McDonald, Adepero Oduye, Samuel L. Jackson, and Ryan Coogler.
This isn’t the first time that outrage has erupted over the the Academy Awards nominations being primarily white, with last year’s ceremony being accompanied by the hashtag #oscarssowhite. This hashtag soon reappeared after the nominations for the 2016 awards were announced.
But while Will Packer was admittedly furious about the lack of nominations for Straight Outta Compton, he made it clear that he has high hopes for drastically improving the Oscar ceremony and making it “feel as inclusionary as possible.”
In fact, Packer pointed out that he wants to work alongside Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs to help “bring more diversity to the Academy,” before adding, “Even in the midst of this year’s disappointing results I am emboldened by the fact that we had new and exciting diverse voices and performers along with tried and true veterans that were at least in the conversation. Strides have definitely been made.
[Image via Universal Pictures]