Although the Oscars tried to prove it has black friends by cutting to every person of color in the audience at one point or another during the telecast last night, people are still understandably upset about the inexplicable absence of nominations for Selma star David Oyelowo and director Ava DuVernay. (And, you know, that all 20 of the nominees in the various acting categories were white.) To this end, before the ceremony Saturday several media outlets reported that demonstrations led by the Los Angeles chapter of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network would take place outside the theater before Sunday’s awards. But those protests ultimately failed to materialize. So why did the protestors stay home?
According to The Wrap, because Ava DuVernay asked them to. “Upon the request of Selma director Ava DuVernay, the Los Angeles chapter of the National Action Network has agreed to forgo our planned protests of the Oscars today and pursue instead a direct dialogue with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,” NAN political director Najee Ali told the media Sunday. Ali went on to say that, “Addressing [the underrepresentation of women and artists of color] is vital and necessary and will be done,” implying that it’s going to take a little more than a vial of Chris Pine’s tears to make this issue go away. (Taking away Donald Trump’s media privileges might be a good start.) DuVernay has yet to comment.