Republican front-runner Donald Trump commented Wednesday on a boycott of the Academy Awards, started by a group of black actors and public figures after no black actor, actress, or director was nominated for the second year in row.
“I think it’s a tough situation. I think it’s really sad,” Trump said in an interview on Fox and Friends, when asked about the boycott supported by Al Sharpton, Spike Lee, and Jada Pinkett Smith.
Earlier on the same show, actress Stacey Dash criticized the boycott, saying that if black entertainers “don’t want segregation,” they should get rid of the BET and Image awards, “where you are only awarded if you are black.”
— FOX & Friends (@foxandfriends) January 20, 2016
Trump praised Dash, although not by name, referring to her as “somebody on your show today.”
“What do we do with BET? Black Entertainment, right? So over there, the whites don’t get any nominations,” Trump said. “I thought it was an amazing interview [with Dash] actually. I never even thought of it from that standpoint.”
Trump said he didn’t agree with the Oscars boycotters. “It would certainly be nice if everybody could be represented properly. And hopefully that’s the case. But perhaps it’s not the case.
“Over the years I’ve seen numerous black actors…receive Academy Awards. And I think that’s great. This doesn’t happen to be one of those years.”
Most recently, Kenyan–Mexican actress Lupita Nyong’o received the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for “12 Years a Slave” in 2014.
Every year, five people are nominated in each of the acting and directing categories, for a total of 25 nominees.