For an artist who made his name flame-throwing the establishment, former N.W.A. member Ice Cube has taken a dispassionate stance about the failure of the Academy to recognize minority actors and films, including his hit N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton.
Appearing on The Graham Norton Show to promote Ride Along 2, Ice Cube, producer of Compton and who was portrayed in the film by his son O’Shea Jackson Jr., was asked whether he would be attending the Oscars. “I never used to go anyway. You can’t boycott something that you never went to anyway,” he said.
Sitting with Kevin Hart, Cube implied there’s little reason for him to attend the ceremony when the film is largely absent from the race. (Compton was only nominated for Best Original Screenplay.) “I look at it like a horse race,” he said. “Once your horse lose the race, you tear up your ticket and … just back on out.”
But Cube didn’t hold any grudges, and was philosophical by Oscars’ slight. “We don’t do movies for the industry; we do movies for the fans, for the people,” Cube said. “And the industry, if they give you a trophy or not, or pat you on the back or not, it’s nice, but it’s not something you should dwell on. … We got so much praise for the movie, and it’s like, how could you be mad ’cause one other Academy, or Guild, or anybody didn’t say it was [No. 1]. It’s crying about not having enough icing on your cake. It’s just ridiculous.”
Just today, the Academy, in the face of criticism, announced its first major steps toward reform, with changes to how active members are defined and thus affecting who has the ability to vote.
Watch Ice Cube’s full interview above.