Danny DeVito on Oscars diversity controversy: 'We are a bunch of racists'

'Even though some people have given great performances in movies they weren’t even thought about,' says Throw Momma From The Train star

Maya Oppenheim
Sunday 24 January 2016 17:55 GMT
Danny DeVito speaks out against the lack of black actors nominated for the Oscars
Danny DeVito speaks out against the lack of black actors nominated for the Oscars (Getty )

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Louise Thomas

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Danny DeVito has joined mounting criticism against the lack of diversity at the Oscars, labelling Hollywood and wider America as a “bunch of racists”.

Speaking at the Sundance Film Festival, the 71-year-old actor said: “We are living in a country that discriminates and has certain racial tendencies which — racist tendencies — so sometimes it’s manifested in things like this and it’s illuminated, but just generally speaking we’re a racist — we’re a bunch of racists.

“It’s unfortunate that the entire country is a racist country.

“This is one example of the fact that even though some people have given great performances in movies, they weren’t even thought about."

Oscars Board ring the changes

Fellow actors Don Cheadle and Sam Neill were interviewed alongside DeVito and also expressed their frustrations at the fact no black actors were nominated in any of the main Oscars categories for the second year in a row.

While Cheadle praised the Academy Awards recent announcement to double female and minority members of the Academy by 2020, he argued it did not go far enough in its efforts.

“This is dealing with the symptom and not starting at the root cause of how do we even get to results like this,” Cheadle said.

The Academy Awards has faced widespread criticism in recent weeks, with Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith and Spike Lee pledging to boycott the ceremony.

In the history of the Oscars, only 31 out of more than 2,900 Oscars awarded have gone to black winners.

This year Samuel L Jackson, Will Smith and Idris Elba were just some of the black actors who missed out on nominations.

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