Danny DeVito is the latest actor to weigh in on the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, stating that the systemic racism in the United States is the root cause of the awards show’s perceived discrimination. Click through to watch him explain!
While attending Sundance Film Festival, Danny DeVito, 71, commented to the Associated Press that the lack of diversity in Hollywood, and the failure to recognize people of color for awards in the industry (like the Oscars), links back to racism throughout the entire United States. “We’re a bunch of racists,” Danny said. Click through to hear his full remarks!
“It’s unfortunate that the entire country is a racist country,” Danny said. “So this is one example of the fact that even though people were giving great performances in movies, they weren’t even thought about. We are living in a country that discriminates and has certain racist tendencies. So sometimes it manifests itself in something like this, and it’s illuminated. But just, generally speaking, we’re a bunch of racists.”
Wise words from a powerful man! Danny’s blunt statement comes in the wake of the controversy surrounding all nominees in acting categories being white, and all directors except one — Alejandro Iñárritu — being white, as well. In response to the discrimination, a movement dubbed #OscarsSoWhite has launched; this isn’t the first time that the Academy has seemed to snub people of color for nominations — this is the second consecutive year in which this has happened.
Big names like Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith, and Spike Lee, have all called to boycott the awards show, and many are following suit. Because of the widespread disgust with the Oscars, the Academy of Arts and Motion Pictures released a statement on January 19 that they would be taking dramatic steps to double the number of women and minorities in the Academy by 2020.
With this reform, which calls for members to renew their membership every 10 years instead of being set for life, there’s more opportunity for fresh faces in the voting body, and likely a greater chance that a wider, more diverse group of nominees may be selected for the Oscars each year. It’s not solving the greater problem of racism in the United States, as Danny pointed out, but it’s a step forward for the Oscars.
HollywoodLifers, do you agree with Danny’s statement? Tell us in the comments!