Lupita Nyong'o, George Clooney and Idris Elba are the latest Hollywood heavy-hitters to weigh in on the recent Oscars controversy, following in the footsteps of Jada Pinkett Smith, who is publicly boycotting the event. After nominations failed to recognize any non-white actors for the second consecutive year, a number of high-profile personalities have shared their "disappointment."
Talking to Variety, George Clooney said he thinks it is "absolutely true" that the film industry isn't recognizing African Americans enough, and that he believes the nominations are "moving in the wrong direction."
The two-time Academy Award winner pointed out some of the actors he believes deserved nominations, including the cast of Creed, Will Smith and Idris Elba, who many believed would get a Best Actor nod for his performance in Beasts of No Nation.
While Idris has not commented on the issue surrounding the Oscars directly, he did address Parliament on Monday evening to discuss diversity in the media, telling the MPs gathered, "The Britain I come from is the most successful, diverse multicultural country on earth. But here's my point: you wouldn't know it if you turned on the TV."
Star Wars actress Lupita Nyong'o has also voiced her disappointment at the "lack of inclusion" in a statement posted on Instagram. The actress wrote, "I stand with my peers who are calling for change in expanding the stories that are told and recognition of the people who tell them."
This year's Academy Awards is being hosted by black comedian Chris Rock, who has poked fun at the controversy. Sharing a new promotional video for the Oscars on Twitter, he captioned it "The White BET (Black Entertainment Television) Awards."
President of the Academy Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who is herself black and a campaigner for diversity in the film industry, admitted last week that she was "disappointed" by the fact that there were no black performers nominated for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor or Best Supporting Actress.
"I'd like to acknowledge the wonderful work of this year's nominees," she said in a statement. "While we celebrate their extraordinary achievements, I am both heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion. This is a difficult but important conversation, and it’s time for big changes."