The nominations for the 87th annual Academy Awards were announced on Thursday. Like clockwork, the Internet quickly imploded with people arguing for their favorite actors, directors, and films that they considered to be snubbed. And one of the films that prompted the most discussion was Selma.
The film did land two nominations—Best Picture and Best Original Song—but David Oyelowo’s role as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. went unrecognized in the Best Actor category. The lapse is all the more noteworthy considering that no people of color were nominated in any acting categories (see #whiteoscars). Moreover, the film’s director, Ava DuVernay, was overlooked in the Best Director race. Had she been nominated, she would have become the first black woman to land a director nod.
(For EW’s take on snubs and surprises, click here.)
Speaking on the blue carpet at last night’s 20th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, members of Selma‘s cast addressed the snubs, and this year’s lack of diversity in its nominees. Read on.
Henry G. Sanders:
“I was bummed. We all were. I was disappointed that we didn’t get more, but, hey, we got it for Selma and we got it for the song. That’s a plus. It is what it is. You bite the bullet and say ‘Okay, go on,’ but I know that David and Ava will go on to have a great career.”
“I would have loved to have seen [David and Ava] get nominated. They did such a great job. I’m not quite sure how you get a Best Picture nomination without a great director at the helm, but I’m not complaining about the nominations that we did get. They were pretty incredible. But, more diversity would be a good thing.”
“I’m proud to be part of a best picture nominated film like Selma. At the same time, I’m disappointed that the colleagues didn’t see David Oyelowo’s work as transcendent, as it was, to be honored. And the work that Ava did with the resources that she had, the film that she delivered, it was just brilliant. Art is not a competition. I understand that. I just wish that our colleagues could have appreciated their work and given them an honor. But, it doesn’t matter. The work itself will speak for years to come, and generations to come. It will far outlive us, and that’s the most important thing. In this case, Selma was absolutely perfect.”
“There’s a lack of diversity, period,” Oyelowo told Access Hollywood. “I think I was the only real shot, myself and Ava, at individual nominations. We’ve got to put a dent in that and make sure that’s not the case. I fully intend to be part of the solution and not the problem.” (For Oyelowo’s full interview, click here.)