Whoopi’s mad too.
On Tuesday, Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg used her platform on The View to blast the controversy surrounding this year’s Academy Award nominees, and how it shouldn’t only happen around the time of the awards.
“Why is this a conversation that we only have once a year? Because every year we get all fired up and then the rest of the year no one says anything,” Goldberg said. “It’s in your face all the time, when you go to the movies … you can’t bitch about it just at Oscar time.”
As happened last year, all 20 acting nominees at the Oscars are white; films with black leads, such as Straight Outta Compton and Creed, were also left off the best picture ballot. In the days since the nominations were announced, many prominent black filmmakers and stars — including Spike Lee, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and even Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs — have commented on the lack of diversity among the nominees
But Goldberg — who won an Oscar in 1991 for her supporting role in Ghost — doesn’t think an Oscars boycott, which both Lee and Pinkett-Smith suggested, is the answer.
“Chris Rock is the host of the Academy Awards and so to boycott him seems just as bad as what everybody is saying,” Goldberg told her View cohosts. “To me, we have this conversation every year. It pisses me off.”
“It’s not that people [doing the ] nominating are too white,” she continued. “They aren’t looking at movies and saying, ‘That’s very white, I’m not going to nominate that black movie.’ They aren’t sitting there like that. The problem is, the people who could be helping to make movies that have Latinos and women, that money doesn’t come, because the idea is that there is no place for black movies … there has never been a plethora of black movies made. People believe we don’t want to see movies with black people in them. Until you start making movies like The Avengers where you see more than 70 white folks saving the earth. I would like to be one of those people saving the earth, but they aren’t coming to me.”
Goldberg’s comments echo what Lee wrote in an open letter to the Academy on Monday.
“As I see it, the Academy Awards is not where the ‘real’ battle is. It’s in the executive office of the Hollywood studios and TV and cable networks,” Lee wrote. “This is where the gatekeepers decide what gets made and what gets jettisoned to ‘turnaround’ or scrap heap. This is what’s important. The gatekeepers. Those with ‘the green light’ vote. As the great actor Leslie Odom Jr. sings and dances in the game-changing Broadway musical Hamilton, ‘I wanna be in the room where it happens.’ People, the truth is we ain’t in those rooms, and until minorities are, the Oscar nominees will remain Lilly white.”
To see the segment with Goldberg, head here.