Oscars: Russian Director Calls Boycott by Black Actors "Ridiculous"

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"Okay, for two years in a row, there was no black actor who could compete with others in the best actor or best actress category," says Oscar-winner Nikita Mikhalkov. "Things like that happen. So, next year, there should be just black actors? Then white ones will be upset."

Oscar-winning Russian director Nikita Mikhalkov says that even though the Academy Awards once again failed to nominate any people of color for acting honors, the idea of a boycott by black actors is "ridiculous."

"Okay, for two years in a row, there was no black actor who could compete with others in the best actor or best actress category," said the filmmaker, according to local news agency Interfax. "Things like that happen," he went on to say. "So, next year, there should be just black actors? Then white ones will be upset."

Mikhalkov, who is one of the two living Russian directors who have won Oscars, has been recently critical of the Academy Awards, saying they have become too politicized.

Still, he said Russia shouldn't boycott the awards, as some politicians and officials here suggested.

Mikhalkov's film Burnt by the Sun won the 1995 best foreign-language film Oscar. His most recent feature, Sunstroke, was Russia's foreign-language entry this season, but didn't make the shortlist.

Last year, Mikhalkov was among the proponents of the idea of "alternative Oscars" for the BRICS region, which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

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