'Selma' Cast Penalised By Oscars For Wearing 'I Can't Breathe' T-Shirts

5 June 2020, 11:20

'Selma' cast reprimanded by Oscar's for wearing 'I Can't Breathe' t-shirts
'Selma' cast reprimanded by Oscar's for wearing 'I Can't Breathe' t-shirts. Picture: Getty Images

Selma actor Daniel Oyelowo recalls the cast and crew being told the Academy wouldn't vote for their film for wearing 'I Can't Breathe' t-shirts in solidarity with Eric Garner who was killed by police in the US.

Actor Daniel Oyelowo has recalled the Selma cast being penalised at the Oscars after wearing 'I Can't Breathe' t-shirts in protest of the death of Eric Garner who was murdered by police in 2014- and the film's director, Ava DuVernay, has confirmed it is true.

The actor, who plays Martin Luther King Jr. in the feature film, said they were told by the Academy they wouldn't be voting for their film on the basis of their protest.

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Daniel told ScreenDaily: "Six years ago Selma coincided with Eric Garner being murdered. That was the last time we were in a place of ‘I Can’t Breathe."

"I remember at the premiere of Selma us wearing ‘I Can’t Breathe’ T-shirts in protest. Members of the Academy called in to the studio and our producers saying, ‘How dare they do that? Why are they stirring S-H-*-T?’ and ‘We are not going to vote for that film because we do not think it is their place to be doing that."

"It’s part of why that film didn’t get everything that people think it should’ve got and it birthed #OscarsSoWhite."

"They used their privilege to deny a film on the basis of what they valued in the world."

Director and filmmaker, Ava, retweeted the article, simply writing, "true story."

This comes just days after Star Wars actor John Boyega gave an impassioned speech at the London Black Lives Matter protest and was vocal about his fears of ruining his career for speaking for what he believes in.

He said: "Look I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this but, f**k that."

However, some of the biggest names in the industry reassured the star they would always be fighting to work with him, including Jordan Peel, Charlie Brooker and JJ Abrams.

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