Tags: academy awards | oscars | nominations | selma | al sharpton | Roger Simon

Roger Simon to Oscar Critics: Some of Us 'Vote for Talent, Not Skin Color'

By    |   Friday, 16 Jan 2015 02:20 PM

After the Rev. Al Sharpton expressed outrage that there were no black actors among those nominated for Academy Awards this year, Roger Simon, CEO of PJ Media and a member of the writers branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said he found it "depressing" to be accused of racism.

"Maybe it's actually a badge of honor — after all Sharpton himself makes Bull Connor seem like Martin Luther King — but the Rev. Al has called me a racist because I am one of those (white!) Academy members who did not vote for 'Selma' as an Oscar nominee," Simon said in an opinion piece in PJ Media.

"I cannot tell a lie. He's right. Not only that, I did not vote for the movie for screenplay either."

After the list of Academy Awards nominees was announced, Sharpton lashed out at the Hollywood industry implying it was racist.

"The movie industry is like the Rocky Mountains, the higher you get, the whiter it gets," Sharpton said in a statement Thursday, according to Business Insider.

Sharpton, a critic of the lack of diversity in Hollywood, also announced he was holding an "emergency meeting" next week to address the issue.

"I have called an emergency meeting early next week in Hollywood with the task force to discuss possible action around the Academy Awards," he said.

Simon acknowledged that Sharpton didn't personally call him a racist, but went on to defend himself saying he has voted for "Twelve Years a Slave" for an award last year.

"But I have bad news for Al. I'm not going to pay him one penny to get one of his pseudo-papal absolutions saying I'm not really a racist (even though I was in the civil rights movement and a financial backer of the Black Panthers, to my ever-lasting shame).

"He's going to have to pay his millions of back taxes by himself when the Republicans take the presidency, as people like him and the jihadists are making it likely they will," he wrote.

Simon also criticized comedian Chris Rock for his recent comments claiming Hollywood is a white industry.

"I have news for him. Some years ago I wrote for and worked with his most famous predecessor in African-American comedy, a certain Richard Pryor. And Richard was wildly more talented than you, Chris. You see, some of us old white guys vote for talent and accomplishment, not skin color," he said.

He concluded by saying that Sharpton's complaints about a lack of diversity in the Oscars is its own form of racism.

"[Diversity is] the biggest shuck to come down the pike since, well, Al Sharpton," Simon wrote. "It divides people and turns them into objects, but that's probably over your (meaning Al's) head, so I'll leave it at that."

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After the Rev. Al Sharpton expressed outrage that there were no black actors among those nominated for Academy Awards this year, Roger Simon, CEO of PJ Media and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said he found it "depressing" to be accused of racism.
academy awards, oscars, nominations, selma, al sharpton, Roger Simon
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2015-20-16
Friday, 16 Jan 2015 02:20 PM
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