David Oyelowo on Oscar Snub: Only Black Stars With 'Subservient' Roles Get Academy Awards

The Martin Luther King Jr. of 'Selma' calls out the Academy of Motion Picture for giving black actors with non-'subservient' roles cold shoulder.

AceShowbiz - David Oyelowo criticized the Academy Awards when addressing his Oscar snub. The "Selma" actor who was given cold shoulder for his applauded portrayal as Martin Luther King Jr. slammed the Academy for ignoring black stars who were not in "subservient" roles.

"Historically - this is truly my feeling; I felt this before the situation we're talking about and I feel it now - Generally speaking, we as black people have been celebrated more for when we are subservient, when we are not being leaders or kings or being at the center of our own narrative, driving it forward," he said at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

He says Denzel Washington should have won the Oscar for his performance as human rights activist Malcolm X in the 1992 film of the same name and Sidney Poitier should have gotten nominated for his role as a detective in "In the Heat of the Night".

"We've just got to come to the point whereby there isn't a self-fulfilling prophecy, a notion of who black people are, that feeds into what we are celebrated as, not just in the Academy, but in life generally," he continued. "We have been slaves, we have been domestic servants, we have been criminals, we have been all of those things. But we've been leaders, we've been kings, we've been those who changed the world."

"Those films are so hard to get made. People have often said to me, 'Why has it taken so long?' I mean, [MLK] was assassinated almost 50 years ago," he added. "I know for a fact that Selma got greenlit after those movies ['12 Years a Slave' and 'Lee Daniels' The Butler'] made almost $200 million each."

David Oyelowo received Virtuosos Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. He was joined by two other recipients "Whiplash" star J.K. Simmons and "Gone Girl" actress Rosamund Pike.

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