Black actors get awards only for 'subservient' roles: Oyelowo
'Selma' star David Oyelowo, who was snubbed for an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Martin Luther King Jr, feels "black people, have been celebrated more for when they are subservient".
Los Angeles: 'Selma' star David Oyelowo, who was snubbed for an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Martin Luther King Jr, feels "black people, have been celebrated more for when they are subservient".
The actor and film's director Ava DuVernay were ignored despite the critical acclaimed that the film received and Oyelowo pointed out the awards irony during an appearance at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
When asked about being "the subject of Oscar snub outrage", Oyelowo said, "... This is truly my feeling; I felt this before the situation we're talking about and I feel it now ? generally speaking, we, as black people, have been celebrated more for when we are subservient, when we are not being leaders or kings or being at the center of our own narrative."
The actor felt Denzel Washington should have won for playing 'Malcolm X' and Sidney Poitier should have won his Oscar for 'In the Heat of the Night' than for 'Lilies of the Field'.
"So this bears out what I'm saying which is we've just got to come to the point whereby there isn't a self-fulfilling prophecy ? a notion of who black people are ? that feeds into what we are celebrated as, not just in the Academy, but in life generally.
"We have been slaves, we have been domestic servants, we have been criminals, we have been all of those things. But we have been leaders, we have been kings, we have been those who changed the world."
Oyelowo said it is still hard to make films that talked about the achievements of black people.
"That's because up until 12 Years a Slave and The Butler did so well, both critically and at the box office, films like this were told through the eyes of white protagonists because there is a fear of white guilt.
"So you have a very nice white person who holds black people's hands through their own narrative. We don't want to see that pain again, so you don't even go into what that pain was in an authentic way. Both of those things are patronizing to the audience. You can't have people curating culture in this way when we need to see things in order to reform from them."