- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 28, 2015

“Selma” director Ava DuVernay said Tuesday that she wasn’t at all surprised she wasn’t nominated for an Oscar for best director and hopes that all the “hoopla” surrounding the supposed snub will shine a light on Hollywood’s “systemic” lack of racial diversity.

“I didn’t expect to be [nominated],” Ms. DuVernay told Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman. “I actually knew that it wasn’t going to happen. I’ve been telling people since October; no one listened to me.”

The director said she was more upset about David Oyelowo not getting nominated for best actor. “Selma” was still nominated for best picture and best song.

Ms. DuVernay was asked her thoughts on a Los Angeles Times report that revealed Oscar voters are 94 percent white, 76 percent male, and an average of 63 years old.

“Folks see films, see history, see art, see life through their own lens,” Ms. DuVernay said. “And when there’s a consensus that has to be made by a certain group, you know, the consensus is most likely going to be through a specific lens. And unless there’s diversity amongst the people that are trying to come to the consensus, then, you know, there will be a lack of diversity in what the consensus is, if that makes sense.”

“Why was Selma the only film that was even in the running with people of color for the award?” she argued. “I mean, why are there not — not just black, brown people? You know what I mean? Asian people, indigenous people, representations that are more than just one voice, just one face, just one gaze? So, for me, it’s much less about the awards and the accolades, because, literally, next year no one cares.”

Ms. DuVernay argued that it’s important not to just talk about the problem, but to work to improve it.

“The obstacle, it is systemic. It’s systemic. It’s a system that’s been set up in a certain way. Times have changed, ideas have matured, and the system might not have caught up with that or stayed up with that,” she told Democracy Now. “Perhaps all of the hoopla this year will trigger some action.”

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