Published On: Mon, Jan 25th, 2016

Danny DeVito, Don Cheadle talk ‘racist’ America after Oscar snubs

While the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences introduced significant changes to its voting procedures in an attempt to curtail the accusations of racism and lack of diversity with this with this year’s Oscar nominees.

At the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday, the Associated Press caught up with Danny DeVito, Don Cheadle and Sam Neill, all of whom commented on the controversy that has plagued this year’s upcoming Academy Awards ceremony.

DeVito made headlines as he did not hold back his feelings on the matter, calling the United States a “racist country.”

no racism symbol slash logo“It’s unfortunate that the entire country is a racist country,” said DeVito. “So this is one example of the fact that even though some people have given great performances in movies, they weren’t even thought about. We’re living in a country that discriminates and has certain racist tendencies….Just generally speaking, we’re a bunch of racists.”

Cheadle, however, praised the Academy’s recent decision to change their voting process, but reiterated what many others, including director Spike Lee, have said, which is that the problem goes way beyond amending the rules of an awards ceremony.

“I applaud [the Academy’s] attempt to do something about it, which is great. But again, this is dealing with the symptom, not starting at the root cause, how we even get to results like this, which has to do with inclusion and access and the ability for people of color, women, minorities to get entry-level positions where you can become someone who can green-light a movie.”

Neill also was “baffled” by what went down this year: “I would’ve thought that Idris Elba and [Samuel L. Jackson] would’ve been a shoo-in for nominations.”

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- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at theglobaldispatch@gmail ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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