Academy Snubbed ‘Selma’ Because Cast Wore I Can’t Breathe Shirts
Published 22 hours ago
on June 8, 2020
- Academy Snubbed ‘Selma’ Because Cast Wore I Can’t Breathe Shirts
David Oyelowo is calling out The Academy for their racist ways. The very vocal British born actor revealed in a new interview that Oscar voters snubbed Selma after the cast and crew protested against police brutality.
Oyelowo, who portrayed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 2014 film, told Screen Daily the cast decided to wear “I Can’t Breathe” shirts to the film’s New York premiere following the death of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, two unarmed black men who were killed by police officers.
“Six years ago, Selma coincided with Eric Garner being murdered. That was the last time we were in a place of ‘I Can’t Breathe.’ I remember at the premiere of Selma us wearing ‘I Can’t Breathe’ T-shirts in protest,” Oyelowo said.
“Members of the Academy called in to the studio and [said to] our producers saying, ‘How dare they do that? Why are they stirring s—?’ and ‘We are not going to vote for that film because we do not think it is their place to be doing that.’ ”
“It’s part of why that film didn’t get everything that people think it should’ve got and it birthed #OscarsSoWhite,” he continued. “They used their privilege to deny a film on the basis of what they valued in the world.”
Selma received two Academy Award nominations in 2015, one for Best Picture and one for Best Original Song. Both Oyelowo and director Ava DuVernay, who would have become the first black woman nominated in the Best Director category, were snubbed. That year, all 20 acting nominees were white.
DuVernay was quick to back up Oyelowo’s account of what happened. “True story,” she wrote on Twitter, alongside a link to the interview.