The Oscar diversity conversation won’t be going away anytime soon, particularly if the Academy decides to return to five Best Picture nominees, which would make it even harder for smaller movies achieve nomination. While there was much chatter this year about the snub for Ava DuVernay‘s “Selma,” which only nominated for Best Picture and Best Original Song, Harvey Weinstein believes the industry’s narrow-mindedness robbed him of more glory the previous awards season.
Talking with Vulture, the mega-producer vented that even though financially (and sometimes critically) successful, “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom,” “The Butler,” and “Fruitvale Station” were all left in the dust of Steve McQueen‘s powerhouse “12 Years A Slave.”
“Three movies, and I didn’t get an Oscar nomination for all three! They said ‘okay, well it’s ’12 Years a Slave’ that’s going to be the movie that gets nominated.’ And I go, ‘well, what happened? You can’t put three black actors in the Best Actor category? You can’t put two black screenwriters in? Oprah Winfrey, who killed it, or Forest Whitaker? Or David Oyelowo, who’s a great actor?’ So I was just thinking, wow, you know, where were you defending me last year? I just wanted to do three at once. It was in my mind to do more than one. I’ll still do it again, though; I don’t care,” he said.
Aside from Weinstein making this issue all about himself, he does have a point (of the three movies, only ‘Mandela’ scored an Oscar nomination and it was for Best Original Song), but it’s also worth remembering how competitive that year was in general. The Best Actor category in particular was a fight between Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club“), Bruce Dern (“Nebraska“), Christian Bale (“American Hustle“), and Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Wolf Of Wall Street“). Even the Supporting Actor category was crowded, with Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club”), Barkhad Abdi (“Captain Phillips“), Bradley Cooper (“American Hustle”), Michael Fassbender (“12 Years A Slave”), and Jonah Hill (“The Wolf Of Wall Street”). It’s hard to imagine who you might squeeze out to add in Whitaker, Michael B. Jordan, or Idris Elba.
But what do you think? Did Weinstein’s movies deserve more Academy Award love or did they get what they deserved? Let us know in the comments section.