Sunday 11 December 2016

'The Oscars are moving in the wrong direction' - George Clooney slams Academy Awards after 'all white' controversy

Published 19/01/2016 | 21:49

Flood alert: George and Amal Clooney
Flood alert: George and Amal Clooney

Oscar-winner George Clooney believes the Academy Awards are moving in the wrong direction after this year's "all-white" controversy.

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The 54-year-old is the latest A-lister to speak out about the drama sparked by the fact no African-American actors or directors received a single nomination from the Academy for its top honours at the Oscars - for the second year in a row.

"If you think back 10 years ago, the Academy was doing a better job," Clooney told Variety. "Think about how many more African-Americans were nominated. 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.

"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."

George is adamant there were nominations "left on the table", insisting Will Smith and Michael B. Jordan should both have been considered.

"There were four films this year: Creed could have gotten nominations; Concussion could have gotten Will Smith a nomination; Idris Elba could have been nominated for Beasts of No Nation; and Straight Outta Compton could have been nominated," he explained. "And certainly last year, with Selma director Ava DuVernay - I think that it’s just ridiculous not to nominate her."

But Clooney  isn't putting all the blame on Academy voters, he fears the movie options available to African-Americans is limited.

"Honestly, there should be more opportunity than that," he said. "There should be 20 or 30 or 40 films of the quality that people would consider for the Oscars. 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."

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