Oscars 2016 Protest: Rev Al Sharpton Leads March, Criticizes Academy Over Lack Of Diversity

Oscars 2016 Protest: Rev Al Sharpton Leads March, Criticizes Academy Over Lack Of Diversity
Photo Credit: david.torcivia via Compfight cc
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Share on LinkedIn
Pin to Pinterest
Share on StumbleUpon
What's This?

The Rev. Al Sharpton led a march before the Academy Awards Sunday, citing a lack of diversity in the entertainment industry. The nationwide protests came after this year’s Oscars had an all-white nominations list.


Sharpton, along with hundreds of demonstrators from civil rights organizations, gathered outside Hollywood High School on Highland Avenue and Sunset Boulevard, near the Dolby Theater on Sunday. Sharpton also spoke to a mass of 400 parishioners at a historic black church.

“They’re having a party downtown, and somebody is trying to steal our crown. Don’t let them! Don’t let them,” he said, the New York Times reports. Sharpton’s National Action Network said that they will be carrying out protests all over the country – including Miami, Cleveland, New York and Washington, D.C.

According to NBC Los Angeles, the group will “take a unified stand for diversity, inclusion and justice in Hollywood,” in addition to urging people to “tune out the Oscars.” A message posted on the group’s website said, “Let’s send a strong message that diversity in the film industry must be more than a hollow promise.”

Like us on Facebook

This year’s Academy Awards witnessed an all-white nominations list. Sharpton said it was unfair how movies like “Straight Outa Compton,” “Creed,” or “Concussion” weren’t nominated for any of the awards.

People could be heard protesting “Hollywood, Hollywood, you ain’t looking so good,” and “I got to be up on that screen.” They held signs that said, “Hollywood must do better” and “Shame on You.”

Leading a protest around the parking lot of a shopping center in Hollywood, the group yelled, “This is what diversity looks like!” According to Pix 11, the group said they are not demonstrating against actors for top honors, like Leonardo DiCaprio, who won for Best Actor for The Revenant. “We are not anti-Leonardo. We are anti-exclusion,” Sharpton said.

President of the Academy Awards, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, announced this January that several changes were slated to be made to the awards’ voting and membership procedures. The focus of these changes, Isaacs said, was to increase the female and diverse membership by 2020. Academy’s Board of Governors voted to begin “an ambitious, global campaign to identify and recruit qualified new members who represent greater diversity.”

Also read: GOP Debate 2016: Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio Launch Attacks On Donald Trump


  • thelma harcum

    it’s truly a remarkable thing for Rev. Al Sharpton to bring forward the focus of the lack of respect still of black talent and other minorities who is not recognized and appreciated for their extraordinary talent in this country.
    How much further would the United States of America be if racism did not exit. Being excluded in a major network as this has set America back another 100 years. Black children needs to see that they are valued. I see less positive people of color in many aspects of TV and Multi-media networks more now than ever. In respect for this cause, my TV remained off for this period of Oscar show. It is a shame because this truly show that the injustice of one group of people really show the injustice of others. Change of the system will remain when each ethnic group having their own Oscar or Awards as well as the one that now exit could be the answer. Pride and respect is important to all people. It is important to each living person, a respect for culture, talent and well-being to exist and be recognized; and to encourage innovations and creative projects that stimulate the minds and souls of many.
    I’m glad to see some changes in the selection of the Academy Board of Oscar will be made, but will they make the real changes that need to be. Will they put a voted in Black Person on the Board?
    Just being nominated can not only make you feel proud of who you are and of what you have accomplished, but it factors in how many other movies will be made that include blacks and other minorities. Will they get jobs for future work? Or is this a setting for more exclusion.
    Surely, by exclusion, the country lose, because if we are not in it, we don’t buy it. Very simple as that. It is clear and in your face, that changes in thinking in this country needs to change. Black people will need to create their own businesses and to step up against this ignorance of an unjust society. As a young child, I grew up in a family that was self-sufficient and hid much from us as of what was really going on at the time of the horrible acts of racism in this country.
    Here in Black History Month, I appreciate the showing on PBS of much of the history of the time of Civil Rights. Many whites have also helped in the Civil Rights struggle and many gave their lives. I am very appreciative of them and those who have also helped me in my own life to broke rules even, to get me to where I am, when my parents went through hard times.
    As a nurse, I look down on no one and wish for peace on this Earth.
    I have over 1000 books in my home of all sorts and a few people I know can’t believe it and is wondering if I’m ill or something for having so many; however, when you see schools closing and libraries being closed down, they better keep their thoughts and words to themselves because, I have my books to read and learn. I believe I have an original “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” along with a collection of Shakespeare, Black Like Me by James Baldwin, and many others authors- the late Harper Lee -To Kill a Mocking Bird, Malcolm X-to show you the diversity. I did not know that Billie Holiday was a songwriter as well until I bought the song book when I was taking piano lessons years ago. “Strange Fruit” a song she wrote is now understood as of how that came about.
    May you all have a blessed day and always believe in yourself and to love yourself first; from there, you can love others and do amazing things!
    Thelma Harcum