The director of “Selma,” which received a Best Picture nod, told The New York Daily News at the 52nd annual ICG Publicists Awards in Los Angeles on Friday she feels that the frenzy about the whiteness of the Oscars has been a “distraction” from the movie itself.
Duvernay then reframed the discussion — in a very gracious way.
“With all due respect, all of these issues around race, gender and class are a distraction right now to the beauty of a film about freedom fighters who fought for justice and indignity; the rest of it is kind of media-created hype.
I am not interested in talking about it anymore, but I appreciate the questions.”
“Selma,” an intimate look at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1965 campaign for voting rights and march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, received only two nods at this year’s Oscars — for Best Picture and Best Original Song (“Glory” performed by Common and John Legend). Duvernay and actor David Oyelowo, who portrayed King, did not receive a nomination in their respective categories.
Still Oyelowo—who had some very choice words for Hollywood around the types of roles African Americans seem to be rewarded for—is alright with Duvernay.
“I think he is wonderful — everything he says is fantastic,” Duvernay said to the Daily News. “I think any conversation about diversity, inclusion and representation is a positive thing.”