Academy Awards: #OscarsSoWhite protests planned nationally; Al Sharpton in L.A.

Al Sharpton

The Rev. Al Sharpton will deliver a sermon in Los Angeles that will address the lack of diversity among nominees for Sunday’s Oscars.

(Mark Lennihan / Associated Press)

A lack of diversity at the Oscars will be the subject of protests and discussions Sunday, with the Rev. Al Sharpton in Los Angeles leading the way.

The lack of nonwhite nominees has prompted some to call for a boycott of the awards and prompted the academy to promise reforms.

Sharpton will deliver a sermon Sunday morning at First AME Church of Los Angeles.

During the 10 a.m. service at the oldest black church in Los Angeles, Sharpton will address the lack of diversity among nominees for Sunday’s Oscars, according to the church.


#OscarsSoWhite: Full coverage of the boycott and Hollywood’s reaction 

After the service, Sharpton will hold a news conference on the grounds of a mansion next to the former home of Hattie McDaniel, who won an Oscar for best supporting actress for her role as Mammy in “Gone With The Wind." 

Sharpton’s appearance is part of a series of protests held by his National Action Network in cities around the country, including Miami, Atlanta and Detroit, according to the group.

It’s unclear whether any protests will occur in Hollywood in connection with the Oscar ceremonies themselves. Much of the area near the event is closed off by police.


During an Oscar lunch last week, three protesters marched outside. Police said they left of their own accord. 

The 88th annual Academy Awards will be held Sunday at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. The ceremony will be broadcast on ABC beginning at 5:30 p.m. PST.

In 2012, The Times reported that Oscar voters were 94% white and 77% male. Four years later, the academy has made scant progress: Oscar voters are 91% white and 76% male, according to a new Times study.

Blacks are about 3% of the academy, up from 2%; Asians and Latinos are each just over 2%, with both groups up slightly.


The academy has invited more women and minority group members over the last four years, but with its 6,261 voting members appointed for life, the organization’s ranks were on track to remain overwhelmingly white and male for decades.

Under fire for nominating an all-white slate of actors for two years in a row, the academy last month vowed to double the number of women and minority members by 2020. It also adopted controversial new rules that will allow it to take away voting rights from inactive members.

“Our goal is to make sure that we are active in bringing in different voices regardless of gender or race or sexual orientation,” academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs said in an interview Thursday. “Inclusiveness in this organization, that is our goal.”

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