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President Obama Will HOST "SELMA" Screening At The White House + Al Sharpton & Spike Lee ADDRESS The Diversity Issues With Oscar Noms

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The actors and director of the Civil Right Movement film SELMA were snubbed by the Oscars, but at least the The White House is paying attention.  Find out about the POTUS hosting a White House screening inside and read statements from Spike Lee and Al Sharpton about the snub. 

Today at The White House, President Barack Obama is hosting a screening of Selma. News of the screening made national headlines one day after The Academy Awards snubbed director Ava DuVernay and lead actor David Oyelowo. Despite those glaring missteps, the film is nominated for best picture and best original song.

Both Ava and David are expected to attend the White House screening along with producer Oprah Winfrey, Golden Globe-winning "Glory" writer Common and Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., who marched in Selma 50 years ago and was beaten up by local police.

Director Spike Lee is also grabbing headlines for an interview he did with The Daily Beast were he had some shocking words of advice for Ava DuVernay on her snub.

"F--k 'em. That doesn't diminish the film. Nobody's talking about motherf--kin' 'Driving Miss Daisy.' That film is not being taught in film schools all across the world like 'Do the Right Thing' is. Nobody's discussing 'Driving Miss Motherf--kin' Daisy'. So if I saw Ava today I'd say, 'You know what? F--k 'em. You made a very good film, so feel good about that and start working on the next one.

Bloop!

You'll recall that Spike's Do The Right Thing was snubbed by the Oscars in 1989 while Driving Miss Daisy won Best Picture. He added,

“Let’s be honest. I know they’re trying to become more diverse, but when you look at the Academy and Do the Right Thing or Driving Miss Daisy, are they going to choose a film where you have the relatively passive black servant, or are they going to choose a film with a menacing ‘Radio Raheem?’” A lot of times, people are going to vote for what they’re comfortable with, and anything that’s threatening to them they won’t.”

To his credit, Spike was optimistic about the Academy’s future under Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the first black president in Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences history.

“The Academy is trying to be more diverse. Cheryl is trying to open it up and have more diversity amongst the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. But with Selma, it’s not the first time it’s happened, and every time it does I say, ‘You can’t go to awards like the Oscars or the Grammys for validation. The validation is if your work still stands 25 years later.’”

  

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Another vocal voice in the Selma snub is MSNBC host Al Sharpton. He released a statement detailing an "Emergency Meeting" he's called to discuss the lack of diversity in Hollywood. He said,

"The movie industry is like the Rocky Mountains, the higher you get, the whiter it gets. I have called an emergency meeting early next week in Hollywood with the task force to discuss possible action around the Academy Awards.  The lack of diversity in today's Oscar nominations is appalling and while it is good that Selma was nominated for 'Best Picture,' it's ironic that they nominated a story about the racial shutout around voting while there is a racial shutout around the Oscar nominations. With all of the talent in Selma and other Black movies this year, it is hard to believe that we have less diversity in the nominations today than in recent history."

Al lovs his meetings doesn't he?  He has not revealed whom his 8-person task force will meet with or what they hope to accomplish, but we'll keep you posted about developments...

 

 

 

Photos via Paramount

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