Viola Davis speaks out on Oscars diversity

Viola Davis says she would not blame the Academy for the lack of diversity at the upcoming awards but the Hollywood filmmaking system, which gives less opportunities to a colour artists.

PTI| Last Updated: Jan 22, 2016, 12:57 PM IST
Viola Davis speaks out on Oscars diversity

Los Angeles: Emmy-winning actress Viola Davis says she would not blame the Academy for the lack of diversity at the upcoming awards but the Hollywood filmmaking system, which gives less opportunities to a colour artists.

"The problem is not with the Oscars, the problem is with the Hollywood movie-making system," the two-time Oscar nominee said at Elle's sixth Annual Women in Television Dinner.

After Academy voters failed to nominate a black actor in any of the acting categories for the second year in a row, Davis said the questions Academy voters should be asking themselves are, "How many black films are being produced every year? How are they being distributed? The films that are being made, are the big-time producers thinking outside of the box in terms of how to cast the role?" she said.

"Can you cast a black woman in that role? Can you cast a black man in that role? The problem isn't even our pay," Davis, 50, continued.

"You could probably line up all the A-list black actresses out there (and) they probably don't make what one A-list white woman makes in one film. That's the problem. You can change the Academy, but if there are no black films being produced, what is there to vote for?" Davis is not attending the awards show this year, not because she's boycotting, but "cause I'm gonna be on vacation."

In 2015, Davis became the first black actress to win and Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role in "How to Get Away with Murder".