Film critic: Don’t boycott the Oscars, but keep pushing diversity

Gil Robertson was among those present when the Academy Award nominations were announced in Los Angeles.

Robertson, a part-time Atlantan and president of the African American Film Critics Association, said while he was disappointed and frustrated by the lack of African-Americans in the top categories, he’s not ready to call for a boycott of the Oscars.

“Absolutely not,” he said. “A boycott would not get anyone anyplace .”

In fact, AAFCA is hosting an Oscar viewing party in Los Angeles.

Robertson said his organization is working with other professional groups to address the lack of diversity in Hollywood and at the Oscars.

“We’re going to support initiatives that the academy has put into place to make changes, because we want to see different outcomes in the future,” he said.

The snub has drawn outrage from people like Spike Lee, Rev. Al Sharpton, Don Cheadle and Jada Pinkett Smith, whose husband, Will, was overlooked for his role in “Concussion.”

There’s even been calls for Chris Rock to step down as host.

Don’t get Robertson wrong, though.

“There is definitely some frustration,” he said. “Several films and performances were overlooked that many in the industry believed to be on the fast track for Oscar nominations.”

For instance, “Straight Outta Compton” earned several nominations from several groups, including AAFCA, which cited it for best picture, best ensemble and best supporting actor.

He also recognized the work of Idris Elba in “Beasts of No Nation” and Smith in “Concussion.”

“But at the end of the day there were a lot of people who were not invited to the party,” he said. “And let’s no forget, there were no Asians in the top line categories and only one Hispanic.”


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