Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor has added his opinion to the #OscarsSoWhite conversation surrounding the lack of diverse nominees this year, making some sound points in a sea of thespians saying dumb shit. Cheers Chiwetel, cheers mate.
In a Daily Beast interview about his new film Triple 9 about shady cops in Atlanta, he also weighed in on the diversity issues surrounding the upcoming Oscars telecast. In 2014, Ejiofor was nominated for an Academy award for his heart-wrenching portrayal of the Solomon Northup in 12 Years A Slave alongside Lupita Nyong’o, who won best supporting actress while charming the world with her glamour.
“I feel like the conversation in terms of the Oscars is in a way dealing with the alter ego,” he said. “It’s not really about The Academy, necessarily. It’s about equality in our society. And that’s why it’s become such a hot issue. That’s really what people are talking about. And that has been the elephant in the room for a long time around arts and media. What kind of society are we looking to live in? I feel like we are negotiating that in real time now, whether it comes to race issues or gender issues or sexuality issues.”
His response is good, right? Ejiofor continued on:
“Do we want a society where people are equal, or don’t we? If we don’t want that, well then let’s go out and state that!” Ejiofor declared. “Let’s not hide the issue. But if we do, I think there are a number of people on all sides of the equation who are going to be on board with that and encourage it and create a very beautiful society for our children that we can be proud to leave behind us. I, for one, am one hundred percent in favor of that concept. That’s what people are sort of struggling with and asking about.”
He added that hiring all white actors is now essentially an outright statement:
“Casting or green-lighting a film that is essentially an all-white film was, at a certain point, just considered normal,” he said. “But now, it’s a choice. You are doing something very directly. You are making a choice to cast this thing entirely white, or green-light an entirely white movie. That is a choice.”
Can we put this on a billboard in Hollywood to remind “the industry” that with every all-white film they cast, the rest of the world recognizes their choice as an attempt to hold on to out-dated, racist manufactured norms that never represented society as it truly is or was? In fact, just overlay Ejiofor’s quotes over a photo of Chris Pine’s single tear.
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Image via AP.