Another day, another celebrity weighing in on the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. This time feels a bit different, however, because of the actor’s stature in the industry — and his pointed words towards not only Hollywood, but America in general.
Few know the industry better than Danny DeVito, a former Oscar-nominee himself who has acted in over 100 films, produced such awards season juggernauts as “Erin Brockovich” and “Pulp Fiction,” directed more than a dozen films and is currently starring in the eleventh season of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” So when DeVito says “We are a bunch of racists,” it comes from a place of experience.
Currently in Park City for the Sundance Film Festival, DeVito was asked by the Associated Press about the ongoing Academy Awards controversy that has Spike Lee and Will and Jada Smith threatening boycott.
“It’s unfortunate that the entire country is a racist country,” he replies. “This is one example of the fact that even though some people have given great performances in movies, they weren’t even thought about.”
Among those performances, #OscarsSoWhite supporters repeatedly point to Will Smith in “Concussion,” Idris Elba in “Beasts of No Nation,” Michael B. Jordan in “Creed” and others. Nevertheless, out of the twenty acting awards that will be presented on Feb. 28, not a single one will go to an actor of color.
DeVito blames not only Academy voters, but the nation as a whole. “We are living in a country that discriminates and has certain racist tendencies,” the Hollywood veteran reasons. “Sometimes things like this happen and it is illuminated.”
“But just generally speaking,” he adds. “We are a bunch of racists.”