Sir Ian McKellen has joined the ongoing controversy against the Oscars with some fighting words — gay people are “disregarded” too.
The two-time Academy Award nominee agreed that black people are left out, but widened the complains against the Academy’s lack of diversity.
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“It’s not only black people who’ve been disregarded by the film industry, it used to be women, it’s certainly gay people to this day,” the “X-Men” actor told Sky News.
“I wonder if that is prejudice or chance,” the star, who is openly gay, elaborated to the Guardian, pointing out that straight actors – like Tom Hanks and Philip Seymour Hoffman – have won the award for portraying gay characters.
“How clever, how clever. What about giving me one for playing a straight man,” he joked.
But, the actor wasn’t entirely being funny.
He admitted he had prepared a speech in the event he won for both nominations — once for playing gay film director James Whale in “Gods and Monsters” and another for his role as Gandalf in “Lord of the Rings.”
“I’m proud to be the first openly gay man to win the Oscar,” he said the speeches started.
“I’ve had to put it back in my pocket twice,” he added.
The 76-year-old called the growing criticism against the award show “legitimate.”
“You are being judged by an Academy where the vast majority are white, male, middle-aged and old. Well, perhaps that is the wrong yardstick,” he explained.
In response, the Academy on Friday pledged “historic reforms,” which would double its number of female and minority members by 2020.
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