Amid controversy that the Academy Awards are prejudiced against people of color, Oscar-winning producer Gerald Molen is pushing back. The “Schindler’s List” producer says that people complaining that the Oscars are too white are just "spoiled brats."
“There is no racism except for those who create an issue. That is the worst kind. Using such an ugly way of complaining," he said Thursday. Molen, a voting member of the Academy, said the voting process is competitive and that’s why all of the nominees for best actor are white. Boycotting the event — something that many high-profile celebrities have indicated they plan on doing — is “ridiculous.”
"Are their noses bent out of shape by the award nominations? Of course. That is normal in a town of egos and red carpet desires. While there were many performances of note, not all my choices for 'best' in the various categories have been realized,” he said.
When the nominees were announced earlier this year it wasn’t long before the world noticed that no one in the top four criteria was an individual of color. The hashtag “#OscarsSoWhite” went viral, for the second year in a row, and the discussion around the racial disparity in Hollywood heated up. In the time since, former Oscar nominee Will Smith, his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, Spike Lee and film director Michael Moore have announced that they won’t attend the awards show this year.
Molen had sympathy for the Smiths, who are among Hollywood's top black actors, but wasn't swayed by the others. "As far as Michael Moore is concerned, he is a socialist always looking to insert his brand of racist hatred. Spike Lee — haven't I heard this from him before?" he said.
Others, including actress Reese Witherspoon, have also made public calls for the Academy Awards to be more diverse in its selection. Still others have simply noted that the problem is more deeply ingrained than that as the movie industry itself isn’t diverse.