By Mischa Jackson
Diversity, inclusion and representation are currently the go-to buzzwords in Tinseltown because, for the second year in a row, the Oscars have an all-white ballot.
This year the voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are facing the brunt of the backlash. The anonymous committee, dominated by older white males, is being called out for systematically shutting out all actors of colour and their films in the race for the awards.
Many prominent Hollywood figures have joined a conversation asking for a complete overhaul of how things are done in the film industry, a more diverse voting society for the Academy or, on a more drastic note, a boycott of the Feb. 28 Oscars ceremony.
As always, some of these figures spared no expense in revealing their foolishness by making outlandish comments that had their publicists’ phones ringing off the hook.
Here are some of the stars on the wrong side of the #OscarsSoWhite debacle.
Stacey Dash is probably more widely known for making idiotic comments than any role she’s ever played. Ironically, her claim to fame is the 1995 movie Clueless and the television spin-off of the same name, in which she played the loveable air-head Dionne.
In an interview with Fox News Dash discussed her feelings on the boycott of the Oscars proposed by Jada Pinkett Smith, and the fight for inclusion in Hollywood. Among many “delightful” highlights from the interview, Dash said that she thinks the outrage is “ludicrous” and called for an end to Black History Month.
Instead of apologizing, Dash penned an open letter further explaining her point.
English actress Charlotte Rampling, nominated for the film 45 Years, caused a firestorm when she expressed her belief that #OscarsSoWhite was “racist to whites.”
Elaborating further, she said, “One can never really know, but perhaps the black actors did not deserve to make the final list.”
Once the heat became too much, Rampling quickly changed her tune and issued an apology. “I simply meant to say that in an ideal world every performance will be given equal opportunities for consideration.”
While two-time Oscar nominee Julie Delpy isn’t a stranger to the diversity conversation, her recent statements on the matter raised a lot of brows.
In an interview with TheWrap, Delpy said that she wished she were African-American because it’s easier for them to speak up about diversity.
Like Rampling, Delpy later apologized.
“All I was trying to do is to address the issues of inequality of opportunity in the industry for women as well (as I am a woman),” she said. “I never intended to underestimate anyone else’s struggle.”
The Oscars are fast approaching, but until then Hollywood celebrity publicists should have their work cut out for them
(Image source: Los Angeles Times)