Oscar-nominated actor Ethan Hawke weighed in on the #OscarsSoWhite controversy this week, telling reporters in New York that “people need to be upset” about the lack of diversity at this year’s Academy Awards.
In January, the Academy announced its nominations, which included no people of color in the top four acting categories for a second straight year. Dramatic changes to the Academy’s voting rules and organizational structure then followed in an effort to ensure more diversity among nominees in the future.
“It’s going to take a few generations for them to really represent the community,” Hawke said while judging a poetry slam for Bronx children, according to Page Six.
Hawke, who has been nominated for a total of four Oscars, including a Supporting Actor nod in 2002 for his role alongside Denzel Washington in Training Day, added, “I got to sit next to Denzel Washington the night he won the Oscar.”
“Sidney Poitier was there, and Halle Berry won that night and it kind of seemed like all this was over,” he said of attending the 2002 awards show.
The actor concluded it feels “like the tide has gone out and pulled back in.”
“So people need to shout. People need to be upset,” he said.
Halle Berry, who became the first black woman to win an Academy Award for Best Actress, also weighed in on the renewed #OscarsSoWhite controversy this week.
On giving her 2002 acceptance speech, she said: “I believed that in that moment, that when I said, ‘The door tonight has been opened,’ I believed that with every bone in my body, that this was going to incite change because this door, this barrier, had been broken.”
She added: “And to sit here almost 15 years later, and knowing that another woman of color has not walked through that door, is heartbreaking.”
The 88th Academy Awards will air Sunday, Feb. 28 on ABC.