Saturday 10 December 2016

Nominees should attend Oscars 'in blackface', says British actor David Harewood

Published 14/01/2016 | 17:56

David Harewood suggested 'all nominees turn up to this year's Oscar ceremony in blackface'
David Harewood suggested 'all nominees turn up to this year's Oscar ceremony in blackface'

British star David Harewood has said Academy Award nominees should attend "in blackface" to highlight the issue of diversity.

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No black and minority ethnic (BAME) actors have been recognised in the lead and supporting Oscar categories .

In a tweet, Homeland's Harewood said: "As a sign of solidarity with their breathren, I suggest all nominees turn up to the this year's Oscar ceremony in blackface. #OscarsSoWhite".

African-American film-maker Reginald Hudlin, a producer of Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, called the omission "tragic".

"In a year with an extraordinary number of great performances by black actors that were embraced by audiences and embraced by critics, for them all to get ignored is tragic," he said.

Hudlin will produce the ceremony on February 28 in Los Angeles, with African-American comedian Chris Rock as host.

Will Smith, who stars in American football drama Concussion, Idris Elba from Beasts Of No Nation and Michael B Jordan, star of Creed, are among the black actors who have not been nominated.

Last year, the Academy was criticised for overlooking BAME actors, directors and producers.

As a result, the Twitter hashtag #OscarsSoWhite was born.

Not long after the nominations were announced, #OscarsSoWhite trended again on Twitter as some film fans, and those within the industry, expressed frustration at the lack of progress.

CNN entertainment analyst Chris Witherspoon tweeted: "I'm looking forward to seeing Chris Rock drag the Academy for #OscarsSoWhite ... again."

A tweet from the official account for Tribeca, the New York City film production company co-founded by Robert De Niro in 1988, said: "Zero nonwhite actors have been nominated for Oscars. There's no excuse. #OscarNoms".

A follow-up tweet from Tribeca stated: "We repeat: there's no excuse. #OscarNoms #OscarsSoWhite".

The Revenant leads the Academy Award nominations with 12 nods, including best picture, lead actor for Leonardo DiCaprio and director for Alejandro Inarritu.

The 52-year-old helmed acclaimed movie Birdman, which won the Oscar for best picture last year.

The Mexican director, who specifically thanked the Native American cast of The Revenant "who helped make the film possible" as he picked up the best motion picture Golden Globes, called for more financing for stories about minorities as he addressed the controversy at the premiere of his frontier drama.

"I think it's a shame there's not more diversity on the screen because films are a mirror of humanity, we should be seeing ourselves there, all of us.

"Many more stories of minorities should be told and supported and financed," he said.

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