As a member of rap pioneering group N.W.A, Ice Cube stands as one of the core inspirations for the Straight Outta Compton biopic. He’s also the main party receiving questions about why the film got snubbed (other than a Best Screenplay nod) in a flurry of #OscarsSoWhite nominations. Elsewhere, producer Will Packer addressed the matter with a powerful letter about diversity, and he believes the Academy’s oversights are part of a larger issue in Hollywood (and one that Packer tried to overcome while making the film).
About a week ago, Cube said he “can’t be mad” because some stuffy old Academy members can’t see the value in a much beloved film. The film scored over $200 million worldwide, and Cube’s “not surprised” because an Oscars snub is “what they do.” While visiting with The Graham Norton Show, Cube elaborates more. He’s not planning to boycott the ceremony because he “never used to go anyway.” He threw out some more common sense:
“You can’t boycott something that you never used to go to anyway. I look at it like a horse race. Once your horse loses the race, you tear up your ticket and back on out.”
Cube also said he doesn’t have much to complain about because the fan response has been more than adequate:
“We don’t do movies for the industry. We do movies for the fans, for the people. And the industry, you know, if they give you a trophy or not or pat you on the back or not, it’s nice but its not something that you should dwell on. We got accolades from all levels, from our core fans to our curious fans, from people who didn’t even think they wanted to see that movie. I think an older generation got an understanding on why we did that kind of music and the younger generation got a history lesson, and we got so much praise for the movie.”
This response works two effects. First, Cube’s not letting the Hollywood power structure upset him, which shows how little the Oscars reflect his sensibilities. Second, Cube’s laying down his truth on how a trophy doesn’t mean anything in the grand scheme of this film. The project was a labor of love and a way to remind the world of N.W.A’s enduring legacy. Cube refuses to let anyone think he’s “crying about not having enough icing” on his cake. He’s proud of the film and its accomplishments, which were far greater than a golden statuette could ever acknowledge.
Here are the rest of Cube’s segments from the show.