It was a shock when Ice Cube’s reimagined biopic Straight Outta Compton did not receive a Best Picture nomination. The film, which was a censored version of the N.W.A. origins, was hailed by critics, and expected to pick up multiple nominations. That said, Ice Cube and the Straight Outta Compton team were locked out of all but one category — Best Original Screenplay.
Right after the nominations were announced, the hashtag, #OscarsSoWhite started to trend, and criticism of the Academy white washing all the major categories was in the air. Straight Outta Compton was immediately brought up and a part of that conversation.
Ice Cube ‘plans’ to bring N.W.A together for Coachella 2016 performance. pic.twitter.com/2bcLBCNuvd
— WORLDSTARHIPHOP (@WORLDSTAR) January 19, 2016
Given its importance, and the buzz that was going around, Wendy Williams asked Ice Cube how he felt about not being included in most of the nominations. Perhaps it took the rapper a bit of time to digest the situation, but at the time the rapper-producer-writer said that he wasn’t surprised.
“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.”
This time around, Ice Cube’s words are a bit more biting as opposed to when he talked to Wendy Williams. During an appearance on popular New York radio station Power 105.1, Ice Cube was asked once again to weigh in on the Oscar conversation.
Ice Cube has confirmed that NWA will reunite for a festival appearance. https://t.co/LkartkQJTq pic.twitter.com/Ss8qGrTuD9
— TheLADbible (@TheLadBible) January 18, 2016
Ice Cube said that if they included a random slave in Straight Outta Compton, a film that takes place for the most part in the ’80s and ’90s, they would have received a nomination for Best Picture.
“I think we deserve Best Picture, especially by them leaving two [movies] out. They usually pick 10 movies. They only picked eight this year…I do what I’m supposed to do to promote the project. I ain’t gonna kiss no a– for nothing, so maybe that is the problem.”
He continued, “Or maybe we should’ve put a slave in Straight Outta Compton. I think that’s where we messed up. That’s where we messed up. Just one random slave for the Academy members to recognize us as a real, black movie.”
His words speak to the very real problem in Hollywood, where African Americans are only awarded when they are playing subservient roles like butlers, maids, or slaves as evidence of Lupita Nyong’o’s award for 12 Years A Slave and Octavia Spencer’s win for The Help.
That said, it’s not surprising that Ice Cube is singing a different tune in this interview. Since Cube made those original comments, the conversation has expanded to the lack of opportunities of minorities in Hollywood, and the importance of the inclusion of African American voices being seen and heard on the big screen.
Jada Pinkett Smith called for a complete boycott of the Oscars, which started the initial conversation. In addition, even the Academy’s president Cheryl Boone Isaacs spoke about how frustrated she is. Finally, actor Will Smith spoke to Good Morning America about the whole situation. It was an interview that grabbed headlines due to his wife’s stance, and his snub for the film Concussion.
“The nominations reflect the Academy. The Academy reflects the industry…and then the industry reflects America. That’s not the Hollywood that I want to leave behind, that’s not the industry, that’s not the America I want to leave behind.”
What do you think about Ice Cube’s latest comments in regard to the Oscar nominations?
[Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM]