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David Oyelowo Accuses Oscar Of Sidelining Selma After Protest

Selma star David Oyelowo has claimed Oscars members refused to vote for the film after the cast wore “I can’t breathe” t-shirts in protest against police violence.

This was a result of mass protests in 2014 after Eric Garner died when cops put him in a chokehold, and a shocking video emerged of him telling them he “couldn’t breathe” as he was being held him on the pavement.


Selma won Best Original Song at the 2015 awards and was also nominated for Best Picture.

The Selma cast attended the ceremony in t-shirts with the words ‘I can’t breath’ emblazoned across them in support of Garner, who is believed to have suffered a heart attack in police custody.

David, who played Martin Luther King Jr. in the movie, has alleged that Oscars members accused the cast of stirring things for wearing the t-shirts and refused to vote for the film after receiving complaints.

In his words:

I remember at the premiere of Selma us wearing ‘I can’t breathe’ t-shirts in protest. Members of the Academy called into the studio and our producers saying, ‘How dare they do that? Why are they stirring s**t’? and, ‘We are not going to vote for that film because we do not think it is their place to be doing that.’Part of why that film didn’t get everything that people think it should’ve got and it birthed #OscarsSoWhite.

Fellow Selma cast member Ava DuVernay appears to agree with David’s views as she shared the Screen International story and wrote, “True story”.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which promotes filmmaking, made a tweet at the Oscars after David made the allegations. They said:

Ava & David, we hear you. Unacceptable. We’re committed to progress.

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