(12 Dec 2016) CRITICS’ CHOICE NOMINEES ARE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT A MORE DIVERSE AWARDS SEASON
Stars including Tracee Ellis Ross, Felicity Huffman and John Travolta are optimistic that this year’s awards season won’t be nearly so white as last year’s. “Moonlight,” ”Fences,” ”Loving” and possibly “Hidden Figures” are expected to lead a notably more diverse field.
“I feel like we’re doing better,” said Critics’ Choice winner Sterling K. Brown.
“A friend of mine created the story for ‘Moonlight’ and I have a couple of friends in there: Andre Holland and Mahershala Ali. And I’ve been told that it’s absolutely extraordinary. There’s ‘Fences’ on the horizon. We got, what’s the one with Taraji on the horizon? … ‘Hidden Figures.’ I am hopeful that we will not have a repeat of the same thing.”
“Black-ish” actress Tracee Ellis Ross called on the country to keep the conversation going.
“There is a lot of wonderful work out there. A lot of extraordinarily diverse stories that have been told this year. So you know I think that especially in light of the election results and the next administration, I think that the diversity question is one for all of us. I think it is a conversation and action that all of us need to be taking, not just those that are diverse. I think it is really one for our country,” she said.
“Fences” star Viola Davis hopes the inclusion she is seeing is not a passing trend.
“I’m hoping it’s not something based on a hashtag. It is something based on the natural fabric of what America is and what America now wants to see,” said Davis.
Mahershala Ali of “Moonlight” and “Fences” actor Russell Hornsby are thrilled to see more women and minorities behind the camera as well.
“I think this is a terrific year and I think we’ve got to string them together. I think that’s more of the issue. We’ve had other films before that had, you know, people of color, African-Americans in them, that have done really well, you know. But to be able to string the years together where that is it’s just part of the fabric of entertainment, where you will see people pop up who are people of color, African-American, Latino, Asian, you know and really be in the conversation in a very real and organic way. And then also behind the camera, women and people of color behind the camera as well I think is really important,” Ali said.
“I think not only are we diverse in front of the camera, but we’re diverse behind the camera. And people are represented in all types of factions. So obviously have ‘Moonlight.’ We have ‘Hidden Figures’ and we have ‘Fences.’ Just an array of subject matter and all different types of talent, both men and women, you know gender differences, everything like that. I think it’s beautiful,” Hornsby said.
Actress Felicity Huffman is also seeing progress in Hollywood and pointed to this year’s Emmy Awards as an example.
“I feel like the message went out loud and clear. And I do feel more optimistic. I think it was certainly reflected in the last Emmys. So I’m glad about that. Now if we could just ratify the equal rights amendment then I think we would be on our way,” she said.
“The People v. O.J. Simpson” actor John Travolta agreed that strides have been made and said creatives are leading the way.
“I’ve always felt that the artists lead the way in democracy and lead the way in the humanities. So yeah, absolutely. I think leave it to the artists. They’ll say and do the right thing when it comes to other artists and work and what’s fair. So yeah, I believe they’re making great headway,” he said.
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