Spotlight on Davis' Oscar comments

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By Michael Romain

Staff Reporter

Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-7th) addressed the recent headline-making comments he made to a Washington D.C. newspaper at a Jan. 22 fundraising event in Chicago. Last week, he told The Hill that he supports the boycott of the Academy Awards — an action that's gained a slew of supporters since African American Hollywood power couple Will and Jada Smith called for it earlier this month. 

This is the second consecutive year that no black actors have been up for awards in the Oscars' four major categories. Celebrities like Spike Lee and Rev. Al Sharpton have since joined the Smiths in calling for people to boycott attending or watching the Feb. 28 awards show. The Hill noted that Davis, however, was the first lawmaker to support the move. 

At his Jan. 22 fundraiser, Davis — whose comments have gotten the attention of CNN, the Huffington Post and a number of other national and local media outlets — said he was simply following the lead of the Smiths and other black industry insiders. 

"Things happen where individuals are not totally judged by the content of their character but based on the color of their skin," Davis said. "And when people say we have not reached equal treatment, I agree.

"I don't spend a lot my time watching movies or going to the theater. I don't even know who all got nominated or who didn't, but I know there are some people who find it hard to be purely objective and that some subjectivity creeps into [the process]. It's very interesting that the Oscars' board of directors have already admitted that they need to make some changes and they've done so."

Michael Romain


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