Listen: Steven Spielberg’s 45-Minute Chat on #OscarsSoWhite, Reining in Awards Campaigns

     February 12, 2016


The cinephiles among you have previously enjoyed long chats about the craft of filmmaking from auteurs such as George MillerAlejandro G. Iñárritu, Ridley Scott, Adam McKay, and Tom McCarthy in a round-table discussion, and a similar talk with Christopher Nolan and Colin Trevorrow. Now you can add Steven Spielberg to the list, thanks to THR’s ‘Awards Chatter’ podcast with the legendary filmmaker.

This 45-minute talk covers Spielberg’s thoughts on the current #OscarsSoWhite controversy, how he reacted to the proposed changes to the Academy’s voting system, and how that affects the members of the Academy themselves. He also digs into the Academy Awards campaigns and the vast amounts of money spent on them. Spielberg aficionados, don’t fret, he also takes time to reflect on his earliest days of his career, how he’s gotten to where he is, and where he plans on going next.


Image via Universal Pictures

If you’re curious to see where Spielberg stands on the #OscarsSoWhite movement and the proposed changes to the Academy, these quotes sum it up nicely:

“I’m a huge supporter of the Academy Awards. I was surprised at some of the individuals who were not nominated. I was surprised at [the exclusion of] Idris [Elba] — I was surprised at that. I think that was one of the best performances in the supporting actor and the actor category, was Idris. I’ve seen Straight Outta Compton — my wife and I saw it when it first opened, the first weekend, and it just rocked our world. It was incredible. I was very surprised to see that omission.”

steven-spielberg-oscars-so-whiteSo while Spielberg is all about diversity within the Academy and within filmmaking in general, he also tries to put the current controversy into perspective:

“You have to look back a couple of years where Lupita [Nyong’o] was recognized for 12 Years a Slave [and] 12 Years a Slave won best picture, you know? I don’t believe that there is inherent or dormant racism because of the amount of white Academy members. I’m also not 100 percent sure that taking votes away from Academy members who have paid their dues and maybe are retired now and have done great service — maybe they’ve not won a nomination, which would have given them immunity to the new rules, but they have served proudly and this is their industry, too — to strip their votes? I’m not 100 percent behind that.”

Take a listen to Spielberg’s 45-minute chat below:

For more on Spielberg and his ongoing productions, take a look at some of our recent coverage below:


Image via Universal Pictures

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