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Dustin Hoffman on Oscars: ‘It’s always been racism’

  • Dustin Hoffman attended the opening night of the Metrograph movie theater on Wednesday in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

NEW YORK » Dustin Hoffman feels there’s a systemic racial problem in America that goes beyond the Oscars.

The two-time Oscar winner did not attend Sunday night’s ceremony, nor did he watch the broadcast. But he was in the same place as this year’s recipient of an Honorary Academy Award who boycotted the show.

“I went to see the Knicks game and saw my friend Spike Lee there all dressed up for the Oscars, but he was at the Knick game,” Hoffman told the Associated Press on Wednesday night.

Lee attended the game at Madison Square Garden in New York in a black tuxedo. Comedian Tracy Morgan, who was part of an Oscar’s skit, also was at the game.

For the second consecutive year, there was a lack of diversity among Oscar nominees with only white actors getting the nod.

“Well, it’s always been that way. It’s not anything new, like Chris Rock, I heard said, ‘Why this year’,” responded Hoffman.

During his opening monologue at the Oscars, Rock questioned the controversy, saying: “It’s the 88th Academy Awards, which means this whole black, no nominees thing has happened at least 71 other times.”

Hoffman was blunt in his response for the reason why it’s been that way for so long.

“It’s always been racism. It’s kind of a reflection of what the country is,” he said.

Hoffman made the comments while attending the opening of the Metrograph, the first independently-owned movie theater to open in Manhattan in more than decade.

“They call my era, the Golden Age of film, but I think the Golden Age of film still exists, but it’s done by the indies, and I think that is what this theater is for,” Hoffman said.

As for his thoughts on what can bring more diversity to Hollywood: “We change when the people that are oppressed force it to change,” Hoffman said.

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  • A thorny issue for elitist to ponder when heaping accolades upon one another.
    Or succinctly we gotta start somewhere, sometime. Begs the question when?

  • It’s interesting that he would go to a NBA game in which 11 out of every 13 players on a NBA team are Black. In most cases the other two don’t know who their daddys are. No one says “hey how come there is not more diversity in the NBA. Must be because of racism”.

    • And I honestly can’t think of any films with black lead roles that were Oscar-worthy in 2015. Only films that could have come close were Creed and Straight Outta Compton. But those actors were a bunch of unknowns who were being pitted against the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Bryan Cranston. They’re just in a totally different league.

      • Beasts of No Name–definitely Oscar Worthy.

        However, you’re right in that the Oscars are somewhat unfairly receiving the brunt of what’s Hollywood’s problem. Not enough diversity (of many different races) in leading and supporting roles.

  • Why are minority groups allowed to have their own awards like the BET African Entertainment Awards (AEA) and Latin Grammy Awards and the ALMA Awards. How come no mo Asian Awards?

  • Yes, there is and always will be racism in the world. However, there have been black Oscar nominees and winners in the past. The black people shouldn’t be upset that there were no nominees this year – it is not like there is some kind of quota system. Nominees are mostly based on superb performances and not on skin color. Look, the host this year was black.

    • Do you have a good comprehension of the procedure involved in having the members of the academy determine who the nominees will be? It starts from then. Those white members get to subjectively choose which movies to even WATCH, let alone determine which ones to nominate.

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