Viola Davis weighs in on Academy Awards controversy

Viola Davis
Photo courtesy of ABC Networks

Emmy and Tony Award winning actress Viola Davis recently shared her thoughts on the call for African-Americans to boycott the upcoming Academy Awards because of its lack of diversity.

“The problem is not with the Oscars, the problem is with the Hollywood movie-making system,” Davis said at Elle‘s recent 6th Annual Women in Television Dinner.

After members of the Academy neglected to nominate black actors in any of the major acting categories for the second consecutive year, Davis says there are some questions Academy voters should be asking themselves like, “How many Black films are being produced every year? How are they being distributed? The films that are being made, are the big-time producers thinking outside of the box in terms of how to cast the role?” she listed. “Can you cast a Black woman in that role? Can you cast a Black man in that role?”

“The problem isn’t even our pay,” the How To Get Away With Murder star continued. “You could probably line up all the A-list Black actresses out there [and] they probably don’t make what one A-list white woman makes in one film. That’s the problem. You can change the Academy, but if there are no Black films being produced, what is there to vote for?”

When asked if she planned on attending this year’s show, Davis said she would not. However, her absence isn’t because she plans to boycott the event but because she’s “gonna be on vacation.”

The 50-year-old two-time Oscar nominee also gave her opinion on the push for scheduled host Chris Rock to join the boycott and forgo his hosting duties.

“Like I said, the Oscars are not really the issue,” she emphasized. “It’s a symptom of a much greater disease. But if he does (carry on as host), I hope he takes it as an opportunity to make a statement, a social statement about change. It’s 2016.”

The 88th Academy Awards ceremony will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on February 28 and air live on ABC.

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