After scoring precursor nominations from the Producers Guild, Screen Actors Guild, and Writers Guild — plus a best-of-the-year citation from the American Film Institute — Straight Outta Compton felt destined to become one of this year’s best picture nominees. Until it didn’t.
The summer blockbuster, which earned $160 million in the U.S. and scored mightily with critics around the country, was omitted from Thursday’s Oscar nominations list to widespread dismay.
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Compton wasn’t alone in its snub. For the second straight year, every acting nominee at the Academy Awards is White, a fact that caused the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite to trend after the nominations last week. In the days since, Spike Lee — a recent recipient of an honorary Oscar — and actress-producer Jada Pinkett Smith have joined the chorus of voices asking for a boycott of the Oscar telecast due the lack of minority representation among nominees.
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In his open letter to Hollywood, Lee called out the media in hopes someone would ask the Oscar nominees to relay their thoughts on the Academy’s “all-white ballot”; as part of an ongoing look into the Oscars, EW asked six Academy members — all white, all male — to weigh in with their thoughts on the Straight Outta Compton snub.