Tyler Perry was at the Television Critics Association (TCA) Winter Press tour on FOX day today, to discuss his role as host and narrator for the upcoming spring music event The Passion — a telling of the final days of Jesus as set to modern music, inspired by a hugely successful Dutch event.
After the panel, Perry talked to a scrum of reporters and addressed one question about the controversy of no person of color being nominated for an acting Oscar this year. The Academy has historically been seen as slighting minority actors, and in recent years that has inspired the sarcastic Twitter hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. This year was particularly galling for many, as actors of color in notable films like Straight Outta Compton, Beasts of No Nation, Concussion and Creed were passed over for nominations (HitFix points out that the only nomination for Compton actually went to its white screenwriters.)
As a notable filmmaker himself, Perry had this to say about the controversy.
“All I’ll say about it is this. I think that the way that the Academy can stop this is very simple: Rather than saying who votes — I don’t want to know who voted, and how they voted — I’d just like to see the numbers. I think if we saw the numbers of how many people voted for what movie, I think a lot of this would go away. If you look at a movie like Straight Outta Compton, and it had — if The Revenant had 10,000 votes, and Straight Outta Compton had 9,999 votes, that one vote made the difference. So that’s what my interest would be — what are the votes? I don’t think it’s racism, I don’t think it’s madness, I just think, what are the votes? And how [do those] effect [things]? Let’s get that information. Even in a presidential election we know who voted and how they voted, so I think that would solve it.”