The glow of a golden Oscar statuette is being outshined by the Sundance Film Festival, where a slate of films featuring diverse actors and characters draws a stark contrast to this year’s Academy Award nominees, said veteran U.S. actor Danny Glover. Outside of the festival, “I don’t see diversity in film in the world at all anymore,” he said this week in an interview with Variety about an ongoing Academy controversy.
Glover, 69, whose acting career spans over 27 years without an Oscar nomination, said the fact that members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have for a second year nominated an all-white slate of performers in the acting categories signals its declining relevance to the increasingly diverse movie-watching audiences. “Maybe we should do away with [the Oscars],” said Glover, an African-American actor best known for the "Lethal Weapon" film series and a starring role in Steven Spielberg’s "The Color Purple."
Even as the academy promised to take steps to increase and promote diversity in the film industry, it has for decades failed to produce enough movies that allow all people to see themselves reflected on screen, Glover said. “We need to talk about the process, the democratization of making movies, not 15 men deciding ‘You’re going to see this movie this year and this movie,” he told Variety.
Glover added: “The Academy and everything else has been what it is since the outset. We don’t find movies that tell us about the real, everyday survival people. How they build families, communities … how to redefine family, community in the wake of all the devastation.”
The veteran actor and civil rights activist stopped short of joining a boycott of the 88th annual Academy Awards, as other black performers and activists suggested when this year’s nominations were announced. Glover did, however, stress the importance of equal representation for people of color in film.
“It would widen my whole sense of myself and my relationship to the rest of the world,” he told Variety. “That’s what the movies and art is supposed to be about!”