Civil rights activist Najee Ali who has been the lead organizer of the last two successful Oscars protest will lead a diverse group of activists and others in a press conference outside the Academy Awards to protest Hollywood’s continued lack of true diversity for all minority groups who continue to be under-represented in front and behind the camera.
After years of exclusion with no nominations for African-American talent which prompted the hashtag #Oscarssowhite, we congratulate the Academy voters for finally getting it right this year.
“But we are now demanding that all major Hollywood studios’ leadership publicly pledge to promote full diversity in hiring and promoting of African-Americans, Latinos and Asians not just in front the camera but behind the camera positions in the film industry as well. The lack of Latino talent who weren’t nominated for major awards is also very troubling and disturbing,” says Najee Ali.
“The mainstream media in recent weeks are putting out and covering a false narrative that Hollywood is fixing its diversity problem because of the high number of African-American talent nominated for an Oscar this year. But that’s because the media is only looking at this complex issue through the lens as black and white.
“With the recent announcement that Hollywood Studios & Networks Continue to Reject DGA Diversity Push for ‘Rooney Rule the truth is, the Hollywood continues to reject ongoing proposals by the DGA to embrace a program like one adopted by the NFL meant to encourage teams to consider candidates of color in the coaching ranks.
“‘Deadline,’ a Hollywood news outlet reports that the NFL’s so-called ‘Rooney Rule’ which was implemented in 2003 requires teams to interview minority candidates for head coach and other senior jobs. Named after Dan Rooney, owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and chairman of the NFL’s diversity committee.”
The DGA has been trying to push the film and TV industry to adopt a version of the Rooney Rule to expand opportunities for female and minority directors. This push — which would have required producers to interview women and minority candidates as part of the hiring process for directing jobs — began during the guild’s 2013 negotiations for a new film and TV contract, but all the studios rejected “categorically rejected” the idea
“The facts are unless the studios greenlight film projects that tell the diverse stories of women, African-Americans, Latinos, Asians, Muslim Americans, the LGBT community and all under-represented groups, the lack of diversity will continue.
“Hollywood studio executives want to portray this image of how liberal and progressive they are, but they are still run by a group of white men who are racist and sexist. ‘The Trump administration has more diversity in their cabinet than the major studios have’,” said Ali.
“We commend Academy Awards CEO Cheryl Boone Isaacs and the hurried push she made to increase diversity within her organizations ranks after our successful protest and boycott of last year’s Oscars. So, we’re not against the academy. But we will use that platform on Hollywood’s biggest night to shame the presidents of all the major studios publicly by naming names with the attention of the international media present.” – Najee Ali, CEO OF Project Islamic Hope and Dr.Earl Ofari Hutchinson, CEO Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable.
Oscars’ Press conference
Date: Sunday. February 26, 2017
Time: 2:00 pm
Location: The intersection of Sunset and Highland. Hollywood CA.