‘Straight Outta Compton’ Producer Will Packer Writes A Powerful Letter To The Oscars Over Diversity

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01.17.16 16 Comments
Straight Outta Compton cast

Universal Pictures

In the wake of the 2016 Oscar nominations, many are speaking out against the films and performances AMPAS has decided to reward this year. First, there was Jada Pinkett Smith’s suggestion that maybe black actors, directors, and other members of Hollywood shouldn’t participate in the Oscars as presenters and performers if they weren’t going to be included in the stable of nominees. Now, a producer of Straight Outta Compton, which probably deserved more than the nominations it received (especially one for Best Picture), has published a letter calling out the Oscars for their shortcomings in recognizing diverse projects and performers.

Even though Straight Outta Compton screenwriters Andrea Berloff and Jon Herman got a Best Screenplay nomination, they are noticeably some of the few people involved with the movie who are white. Will Packer made sure to congratulate them in his post, but chastised The Academy in equal measure. Packer’s Facebook post included these comments:

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. Those of us in the industry who labor to make the best content we can are especially sensitive to a perceived systemic bias against a group of people or type of film. One thing I will say, is that The Academy’s voting record is only part of the issue. These films/performances and the scripts that drive them often go into development YEARS before they are released and thus in Oscar contention.

After stressing the idea that more movies need to be sent into production now so that the Oscars have something to nominate in the next few years, Packer continues:

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