Donald Trump played down concerns about the lack of diversity among 2016 Academy Award nominees on Wednesday, suggesting that it is not that different from white actors getting shut-out of the BET Awards.
In a Fox News interview, Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy asked the Republican presidential hopeful what he made of criticism from Spike Lee, Al Sharpton, Jada Pinkett Smith, and others regarding the Academy’s failure to nominate a single actor of color — for the second year in a row.
After insulting Sharpton, Trump called it a “tough situation.” Then he pointed out that he’d seen an earlier interview in which someone said, “What do we do with BET, Black Entertainment? Right? So, there the whites don’t get any nominations.” Trump said he thought that was an “amazing interview actually” and that he’d “never even thought of it from that standpoint.”
Still, the former reality show host noted, “it would certainly be nice if everybody could be represented properly. Hopefully that’s the case, but maybe it’s not the case.”
Trump then noted that “if somebody deserves it… I mean, I’ve watched over the years where African Americans have in fact received Academy Awards and have in fact been represented. And this is not one of those years, but over the years I’ve seen numerous black actors and African American actors receive awards and I think that’s great. This doesn’t happen to be one of those years.”
An Essence online photo gallery, titled, “The Way-Too-Short List of Black Oscar Winners,” notes that Lupita Nyong’o, Octavia Spencer, Mo’Nique, Forest Whitaker, Jennifer Hudson, Morgan Freeman, Jamie Foxx, Halle Berry, Denzel Washington, Cuba Gooding Jr., Whoopi Goldberg, Louis Gossett Jr., Sidney Poitier, and Hattie McDaniel comprise the total number of black winners (just 14) in the 88-year history of the awards. Hundreds of white actors have won over that time in the Best Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress categories.
Trump did not receive Oscar nominations for any of his performances, as himself, in Eddie, Home Alone 2, Celebrity, or Zoolander.
Watch the video:
— FOX & Friends (@foxandfriends) January 20, 2016