Actors Jamie Foxx and Michael B. Jordan, stars of the new film Just Mercy, said given the lack of racial diversity among this year’s Academy Award nominees that their motivation to make movies isn’t to win Awards.
“I think honestly with the awards, we don’t make movies for that,” Jordan said. “This is the nominees’ moment and they worked extremely hard on their films and we don’t want to be a part of that dialogue, taking away from anything that they have going on. Any awards, any nominations that come our way when it comes to this movie, it just adds to the message, adds to the movie that we’re really trying to make.”
Jordan stars as a young Harvard grad Bryan Stevenson, who heads to Alabama to defend a black man (played by Foxx) who’s been wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death.
“I don’t want to take anything away from the goal at hand and that this movie needs to be seen and people need to talk about the issue that we have and hopefully it connects with people around the world,” Jordan added.
FOXX – ‘WE DON’T START THESE MOVIES TO WIN AWARDS’: At the London premiere of @JustMercyFilm, #JamieFoxx (@iamjamiefoxx) and #MichaelBJordan (@michaelb4jordan) agree they’d rather let Oscar nominees enjoy their moment than focus on the lack of diversity in the shortlist. pic.twitter.com/JUKa413HS2
— AP Entertainment (@APEntertainment) January 16, 2020
The list of nominees for the 92nd Academy Awards were released on Monday. The Best Director category was all men nominees, which spurred “Directors So Male” to trend online. Adding fuel to the fire: 19 of the 20 actors nominated are white (though Antonio Banderas got a nod for Best Actor and he’s Spanish). Nevertheless, Hollywood was right back at the center of controversy as it was in 2014 when “Oscars So White” led to A-list stars boycotting the Oscars that year. And the question begs: How can an industry that constantly castigates the rest of America about race and misogyny be so fragrantly bad at recognizing its non-white and female talent?
For Foxx, his movies aren’t made to win trophies and he believes the Oscars show should be about the people who earned their nominations.
“We don’t start these movies to win awards,” Jamie Foxx told the Associated Press. “We’re happy about the NAACP award, the SAG award, but all of that goes into the pot of making sure ‘Just Mercy’ gets out there and then there’s also a level of respect of the people that are nominated. We don’t want to cloud their moment. This is their time, they put their work in, however anybody feels about anything, let’s let them enjoy their time.”
Just Mercy opened in theaters everywhere on Jan. 10.
Jerome Hudson is Breitbart News Entertainment Editor and author of the bestselling book 50 Things They Don’t Want You to Know. Order your copy today. Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter and Instagram @jeromeehudson