Mark Ruffalo: ‘I Hope’ Oscar Boycott Awakens Hollywood to #BlackLivesMatter Movement


Oscar nominee Mark Ruffalo says he will attend this year’s Academy Awards, but supports the growing boycott movement against the ceremony and hopes it “opens the way” for Hollywood to embrace the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Earlier Thursday, Ruffalo said he was “weighing” not attending this year’s Oscars in solidarity with critics who have slammed the awards show for a lack of diversity among nominees in the acting categories. However, in a series of Twitter posts, the Spotlight star said he will attend the ceremony despite his support of the “Oscar ban movement.”

In a follow-up tweet, the actor said that the “Oscar ban movement reflects a larger discussion about racism in the criminal justice system.” But he seemingly corrected himself in another tweet shortly afterward:

The boycott movement against the Academy Awards has slowly picked up steam since this year’s nominees were announced last week. Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, Michael Moore and Spike Lee have all vowed not to attend this year’s awards ceremony, after the Academy nominated exclusively white actors in top categories for a second straight year. The Rev. Al Sharpton has called for a national “tune out” of the awards show in protest.

Other actors including George Clooney, David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o and Idris Elba have also been critical of the Academy’s nominations, without pledging a boycott.

On Thursday, Ruffalo, who is up for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Spotlight, told BBC News that he had not yet decided whether or not he would attend the February 28 ceremony.

“I’m weighing it, that’s where I’m at right now,” the actor said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “I woke up in the morning thinking, ‘What is the right way to do this?’ Because if you look at Martin Luther King’s legacy, what he was saying was that the good people who don’t act are much worse than the wrongdoers who are purposefully not acting and don’t know the right way.”

Ruffalo, who was also nominated in the same category last year for Foxcatcher and in 2011 for The Kids Are All Right, added that the Academy’s diversity problem extends farther than the Oscars, and even farther than the entertainment industry.

“It’s the entire American system,” he said. “It’s rife with the kind of white privilege racism that goes into our justice system.”

Fallout from the Oscars’ diversity controversy continued throughout the week, with Fox News contributor Stacey Dash and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti also weighing in on the nominations. Actor Tyrese Gibson has called for Chris Rock to step down from hosting the ceremony in protest.

In a statement earlier this week, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said she was “heartbroken” and “frustrated” by the lack of diversity among the acting nominees, and pledged to make “big changes” at the organization in the near future.


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