Last week the nominees for the 88th Academy Awards were announced. To no one's surprise (but to everyone's disappointment), the nominees were a pretty non-diverse group of people. In the acting categories, for example, there wasn't a single non-white actor nominated. In response to the nominations, #OscarsSoWhite was born, and the internet got the hashtag trending to express frustration. Straight Outta Compton producer Will Packer is the latest to speak up.
On Friday Packer wrote a post on his Facebook page that called out the Academy for their exclusion. In doing so, he highlighted some of this year's black actors and filmmakers who weren't nominated—Ryan Coogler, Idris Elba, and Audra McDonald.
"To my #OscarsSoWhite folks who are angry at the absurd lack of diversity highlighted yet again by this year's Oscar noms. Trust me, I get it," Packer stated. "Those of us in the industry who labor to make the best content we can are especially sensitive to a perceived systemic bias against a group of people or type of film."
After calling on all the Academy to do better and highlighting the efforts made by Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs to bring about diversity, Packer ended his letter with one powerful statement, alluding to the film Ride Along 2, which he also produced.
"Strides have definitely been made. And it's not lost on me that this very weekend the movie that just might supplant one of the highest grossing movies of all time for the #1 spot at the box office is a movie that has two stars, a director and a producer who happen to be black. Happy MLK Weekend every body."