Academy Members Think You Are Crazy for Calling Them Racists

Academy Members Think You Are Crazy for Calling Them Racists

"I happen to think Straight Outta Compton is not a great film," one voter said.

Published January 20th

With the reason being revealed by Academy members, themselves, why Straight Outta Compton, one of the major snubs from this year's Oscar nominees list, many have concluded that the committee is undoubtedly racist. Ranging in age from early 40s to late 60s, the Oscar voters, who are all white men, are now firing back, and want you to know that they are far from racists.

Academy members chopped it up with The Hollywood Reporter's awards analyst, giving them their honest picks for who should make the cut — in their opinions — and really why they thought Straight Outta Compton didn't deserve to be recognized any more than it was.

Penelope Ann Miller, one of the Academy members who is a part of the actors branch, admitted to nominating a few Black actors, but says the competition was just too stiff. "I voted for a number of Black performers, and I was sorry they weren't nominated," she said. "But to imply that this is because all of us are racists is extremely offensive. I don't want to be lumped into a category of being a racist because I'm certainly not and because I support and benefit from the talent of Black people in this business. It was just an incredibly competitive year."

Another member, who chose to remain anonymous, said they nominated one person of color, which somehow makes the "racist" label unwarranted: "I'm very offended by the idea that some people are calling us racists — race was the furthest thing from my mind when I cast my ballot, and in fact I nominated one person of color for an award. Such a sweeping declaration is extremely irresponsible."

Taking a slightly different approach is Jeremy Larner, who nominated Compton's writers — who all happen to be white — for Best Original Screenplay. He made two major points: He cannot say, for sure, if any of the Academy members are actually racist; and Straight Outta Compton wasn't that great, in his opinion. "I cannot prove the Academy or anyone else is not racist," he said. "I have voted for many people of color for awards. I happen to think Straight Outta Compton is not a great film for reasons of structure and substance... to me, a good film has to show a lot more than this one does."

Interesting. Catch up on the #OscarsSoWhite controversy with BET Breaks below:

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(Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Written by Moriba Cummings

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