Tags: helen mirren | defends | oscars | diversity

Helen Mirren: 'It's Unfair to Attack the Academy' for All-White Oscars

Image: Helen Mirren: 'It's Unfair to Attack the Academy' for All-White Oscars
Actress Helen Mirren arrives at The Weinstein Company & Netflix Golden Globe After Party in Beverly Hills, California, January 10, 2016. (Danny Moloshok/Reuters)

By    |   Thursday, 04 Feb 2016 12:58 PM

Helen Mirren, the actress recently featured in "Trumbo," said it is "unfair" to blame the Academy Awards for nominating 20 white people and no minorities for its major acting categories for the second year in a row.

"I think it’s unfair to attack the academy," Mirren, 70, told England’s Channel 4 news in a Wednesday interview, the New York Post reported. "It just so happens this year, it went that way."

In speaking about the lack of a nomination for fellow British actor Idris Elba, star of the Netflix film "Beasts of No Nation," Mirren said, "He wasn’t nominated because not enough people saw, or wanted to see, a film about child soldiers in Somalia or the Congo or somewhere like that."

Getting into more general discussion about diversity in Hollywood, Mirren did acknowledge it could be better, however.

"The issue we need to be looking at is what happens to the film before it gets to the Oscars," she said. "What kind of films are made. And the way in which they are cast. And the scripts. And go all the way back to the writing of the scripts. It’s those things that are much more influential ultimately than who stands with the Oscar."

MSNBC noted a possible oversight in Mirren's argument.

"Critics of Mirren’s remarks would likely argue that viewer prejudices regarding stories with a focus on minority characters and subject matters is precisely part of the problem," it wrote. "In contrast, for instance, Mirren won her Academy Award for a film portraying the very white world of the British royals, and there was no buzz about Oscar voters being turned off by the narrow appeal of that film’s premise."

Many prominent figures from President Barack Obama to George Clooney have spoken out about the lack of diversity in the Oscars this year and last. Several, like Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith, Spike Lee, and Michael Moore, said they plan to boycott the event.

Others have called on scheduled host Chris Rock to boycott as well.

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Helen Mirren, the actress recently featured in "Trumbo," said it is "unfair" to blame the Academy Awards for nominating 20 white people and no minorities for its major acting categories for the second year in a row.
helen mirren, defends, oscars, diversity
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2016-58-04
Thursday, 04 Feb 2016 12:58 PM
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