George Clooney is the latest celebrity to criticize the Oscars for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ lack of diversity in their 2016 nominations.
In a statement to Variety, the 54-year-old actor expressed his disappointment in the recently announced nominations only recognizing white actors in the major categories and admitted the film industry is “moving in the wrong direction.”
George winning his first of two Oscars in 2006.
“If you think back 10 years ago, the Academy was doing a better job. Think about how many more African Americans were nominated. I would also make the argument, I don’t think it’s a problem of who you’re picking as much as it is: How many options are available to minorities in film, particularly in quality films?” George wrote.
“I think we have a lot of points we need to come to terms with. I find it amazing that we’re an industry that in the 1930s, most of our leads were women. And now a woman over 40 has a very difficult time being a lead in a movie. We’re seeing some movement,” he continued.
Morgan winning his first, and only, Oscar in 2005. (Photo Credit:Splash)
“Jennifer Lawrence and Patricia Arquette have made the loud pronouncement about wage disparity, have put a stamp on the idea that we got to pay attention. But we should have been paying attention long before this. I think that African Americans have a real fair point that the industry isn’t representing them well enough. I think that’s absolutely true,” George wrote.
“Let’s look back at some of the nominees. I think around 2004, certainly there were black nominees — like Don Cheadle, Morgan Freeman. And all of a sudden, you feel like we’re moving in the wrong direction,” he added. “By the way, we’re talking about African Americans. For Hispanics, it’s even worse. We need to get better at this. We used to be better at it.”