'Straight Outta Compton' Producer Slams 'Embarrassing' Oscar Nominations

18 January 2016 | 1:13 pm | Staff Writer

Will Packer calls out the Academy.

The executive producer of the hugely successful NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton has slammed the 2016 Oscar nominations and called the lack of diversity amongst this year's nominees "embarrassing".

In a Facebook post, Will Packer referenced a number of black actors who gave critically acclaimed performances in films this year but were overlooked for a nod including Will Smith for ConcussionMichael B Jordan for Creed and SOC stars O'Shea Jackson Jr, Jason Mitchell and Corey Hawkins who in particular were praised for their portrayal of Ice Cube, Eazy E and Dr Dre respectively. 

"Yes, they made us laugh. Yes, they made us cry. Yes, they made us angry. Yes, they made us think. Yes, they are all black. No, not one was nominated for the movie industry's highest honor," Packer said.

Though it now holds the record for highest grossing musical biopic of all time, the film scored just one nomination for Best Original Screenplay. 

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"To my Academy colleagues, WE HAVE TO DO BETTER. Period. The reason the rest of the world looks at us like we have no clue is because in 2016 it's a complete embarrassment to say that the heights of cinematic achievement have only been reached by white people. I repeat—it's embarrassing."

"It's unfair to the performers of color who sacrificed so much, laid it all on the line AND DELIVERED with their projects this year. It's also unfair to the white actors, writers, producers and directors who gave everything they had to create career defining content only to have it marred by the fact that a lack of diversity calls into question the legitimacy of The Academy's choices."

Check out the full statement below. 


I want to congratulate all of the Academy Award nominees. These people are quite deserving of being recognized as the...

Posted by Will Packer on Friday, 15 January 2016

Meanwhile actress Jada Pinkett Smith has also questioned whether people of colour should bother to participate in the Oscars if they continue to get overlooked. 

"People can only treat us in the way in which we allow. With much respect in the midst of deep disappointment," Pinkett Smith tweeted yesterday.

The 88th Academy Awards will take place on 28 February in California. Check out Film Carew's complete rundown of the Oscar nominees here