The Los Angeles chapter of the Al Sharpton-led National Action Network is set to hold a protest Sunday night outside the 87th annual Academy Awards near Hollywood’s Dolby Theater, over what it claims is a lack of diversity in the film business.
The protest will start at 2 p.m. PT on Sunday, as nominees and other celebrities begin their red carpet arrivals, reports Deadline. The protest may not get close to the Dolby Theater, however, as police are set to cordon off Hollywood Boulevard between La Brea and Highland.
Al Sharpton will reportedly not be attending the protest.
“It is pretty obvious that the Academy needs more diversity in its voting process,” NAN political director Najee Ali told Deadline. “While our coalition of civil rights leaders questioned the obvious omissions of director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo from the critically acclaimed civil rights drama Selma, our protest and concerns isn’t just about them.”
“The issue of the lack of racial diversity is the larger issue that Hollywood must face and confront head on,” Ali added. “That’s why our protest of this year’s Oscar ceremony is designed to be a wake-up call for the entire industry.”
The backlash against the Academy continued in January, after this year’s Oscar nominations were announced. The Twitter hashtag #OscarsSoWhite was born after the Academy failed to recognize any black actors in any of the four major acting categories.
“The National Action Network is calling for the President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Cheryl Boone Issacs, to accelerate the Academy’s push to be more inclusive,” NAN spokesman Rev. K.W. Tulloss said in a statement. “With all of this year’s acting contenders being white and no women in the directing or writing categories, it’s obvious that the Academy had a diversity problem they are going to have to fix.”
Other organizations participating in Sunday’s protest include the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, according to theWrap.
The 87th annual Academy Awards will be broadcast live at 5 p.m. PT on ABC.