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.