After the death of people like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade at the hands of cops, the police aren’t the only institution people are coming after.
According to Variety, protestors showed up at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science after David Oyelowo revealed how his 2014 movie Selma was basically blackballed.
According to Oyelowo, Oscar voters were upset that the cast wore T-shirts that read “I Can’t Breathe” to the movie’s Los Angeles premiere. The move was a way of condemning the murder of Eric Garner by cops in New York in July 2014.
“Members of the Academy called in to the studio and our producers saying, ‘How dare they do that? Why are they stirring sh*t?’ and ‘We are not going to vote for that film, because we do not think it is their place to be doing that,’” Oyelowo explained to Screen Daily’s Screen Talk.
“It’s part of why that film didn’t get everything that people think it should’ve got and it birthed #OscarsSoWhite,” added Oyelowo. “They used their privilege to deny a film on the basis of what they valued in the world.”
The director of Selma, Ava DuVernay, confirmed the story on Twitter, writing “true story.”
The protest outside of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts was orchestrated by actress Aunjanue Ellis, Milauna Jackson, Tanayi Seabrook, and Stephanie Lacey. They made space for willing performers to dance, sing, read poetry, or speak. Masks, hand sanitizer, and gloves were encouraged as precautions against the coronavirus.
Over the last couple of years, the Academy has vowed to diversify their voters thanks to campaigns like #OscarsSoWhite. However, it seems like they still have a lot to answer too, especially if the same people who didn’t vote for Selma over the t-shirts are still in the Academy.
Now that protests are still at their peak, Paramount has made “Selma” a free rental on digital platforms through the end of the month.