National Action Network Calls for Boycott of Oscars

National Action Network Calls for Boycott of Oscars

Civil rights group demands more diversity among voters.

Published February 22, 2015

As limos filled with celebrities line up outside the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles, civil rights groups are calling for a boycott of today's Academy Awards ceremony, demanding greater diversity among Oscar voters. 

Activist and political pundit Al Sharpton's National Action Network, civil rights group Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable said they would demonstrate on Sunday before the televised ceremony.

| DIVERSITY AT THE OSCARS, BY THE NUMBERS |

"We are calling for a boycott of Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony," National Action Network political director Najee Ali said at a news conference. "We believe the Oscars needs more diversity within its membership."

A 2012 investigation by the Los Angeles Times found that of the 6,100 Academy members, 94 percent were white and 77 percent male. Members, who are selected for their work and recommended by existing members, had a median age of 62, the study said. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences doesn't disclose the demographic breakdown of its voters.

"It is very important that the Academy Awards and its leadership have a membership and a type of voting system that represents America," Ali said.

This year's nominations had no ethnic minority actors among the 20 nominees in all four acting categories, which spawned the trending Twitter hashtag "#OscarsSoWhite."

Selma leading man David Oyelowo and director Ava DuVernay are among the notable snubs this year, though the film is nominated for Best Picture and Best Original Song.

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(Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Written by Evelyn Diaz

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