The Los Angeles chapter of the activist organization National Action Network, which was founded by the Reverend Al Sharpton back in 1991, made the announcement today that it plans to hold a protest focused around the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s lack of diversity, just outside where the awards ceremony is going to be held in Hollywood.
According to a report on Deadline Hollywood, Sharpton will not be in attendance but he has, in the words of LA NAA Political Director Najee Ali, “given his blessing.”
The protest, which is scheduled to begin around 2pm PST — three hours before the start of the ceremony — is in response to an assortment of diversity-related issues that have placed Hollywood at the center of public scrutiny over the past few months.
The notable omission of Ava DuVernay and David Oyelowo from this year’s nominations, however, are just the tip of the iceberg for the protesters. In an additional statement, Ali (as quoted by Deadline) said: “While our coalition of civil rights leaders questioned the obvious omissions of director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo from the critically acclaimed civil rights drama Selma, our protest and concerns isn’t just about them. The issue of the lack of racial diversity is the larger issue that Hollywood must face and confront head on. That’s why our protest of this year’s Oscar’s ceremony is designed to be a wake-up call for the entire industry.”
Given extensive street closures around the Hollywood and Highland center, where the Dolby Theatre is located, the exact location of the protest — and its proximity to the red carpet and theatre — has yet to be determined.