‘Straight Outta Compton’ Producer Calls Oscar Noms "Embarrassing"

Jaimie Trueblood/Universal Pictures
'Straight Outta Compton'

"To my ‪#‎OscarsSoWhite‬ folks who are angry at the absurd lack of diversity highlighted yet again by this year's Oscar noms — I get it."

Straight Outta Compton executive producer Will Packer is chiming in on the #‎OscarsSoWhite‬ discussion.

In a lengthy post on his Facebook page Friday, Packer called out the lack of diversity among the 88th Academy Award nominees, which were announced Thursday.

"To my ‪#‎OscarsSoWhite‬ folks who are angry at the absurd lack of diversity highlighted yet again by this year's Oscar noms. Trust me, I get it," he wrote in reference to black actors and movies focused on black stories being snubbed for the second year in a row.

Packer congratulated all of the nominees, including Compton screenwriters Jon Herman and Andrea Berloff (the film earned a best screenplay nom), but said he really wanted to applaud those who were left off the list. Beast of No Nation's Idris Elba, Creed's Michael B. Jordan, Concussion's Will Smith and Star Wars' John Boyega all got a mention.

Noting that the lack of diversity calls the show's legitimacy into question, Packer called on the Academy to do "better": "To my Academy colleagues, WE HAVE TO DO BETTER [sic]. Period. The reason the rest of the world looks at us like we have no clue is because in 2016 it's a complete embarrassment to say that the heights of cinematic achievement have only been reached by white people. I repeat—it's embarrassing."

Hollywood and public figures were quick to react after Thursday's nominations.

Chris Rock, who is set to host the Feb. 28 awards show, called the Oscars the "white BET awards" and Jada Pinkett Smith said people of color are "rarely recognized" for their artistic accomplishments.

Al Sharpton also criticized the lack of diversity, and the Daily Show spent Thursday night's episode pointing out that white people involved with black movies earned noms, like Sylvester Stallone for Creed and Straight Outta Compton's white screenwriters.

Packer is also a producer on Ride Along 2, which opened this weekend, and ended his post with a nod to the Kevin Hart and Ice Cube-starring comedy: "It's not lost on me that this very weekend the movie that just might supplant one of the highest grossing movies of all time for the #1 spot at the box office is a movie that has two stars, a director and a producer who happen to be black. Happy MLK Weekend everybody."

Read his full post below:


I want to congratulate all of the Academy Award nominees. These people are quite deserving of being recognized as the...

Posted by Will Packer on Friday, January 15, 2016

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