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Mark Ruffalo May Boycott Oscars, Calls Out ‘White Privilege Racism’

Mark Ruffalo
Mark Ruffalo Mike Pont/

UPDATE: Ruffalo shared a few thoughts via Twitter on Thursday, January 21, to clarify what he meant when he said he was debating whether or not to attend the Academy Awards on February 28. 

To clear up any confusion. I will be going to the Oscars in support of the victims of clergy Sexual Abuse and good journalism. #Spotlight,” he wrote. “I do support the Oscar Ban movement’s position that the nominations do not reflect the diversity of our community. The Oscar Ban movement reflects a larger discussion about racism in the criminal justice system.”

ORIGINAL STORY: Mark Ruffalo is adding his voice to the ongoing conversation about this year’s Oscars nominations.

The Spotlight actor sat down with BBC Breakfast’s Charlie Stayt on Thursday, January 21, to chat about his own nomination, for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, and talk soon turned to the headline-making controversy surrounding the Academy’s lack of diversity.

Stayt broached the topic by asking for Ruffalo’s thoughts on the state of “black representation” within this year’s crop of nominees.

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“It isn’t just the Academy Awards,” Ruffalo, 48, said. “The entire American system is rife with white privilege racism. It goes into our justice system.”

The Foxcatcher actor added that he’s been thinking about joining Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith and Spike Lee in boycotting the awards show as well. (In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday, the iconic director clarified that he has never used the word “boycott,” instead just announcing that he and his wife will not be attending.)

“I’m weighing it, yes. That’s where I’m at right now,” Ruffalo said. “I woke up in the morning thinking, ‘What is the right way to do this?’ Because if you look at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, what he was saying was the good people who don’t act are much worse than the wrongdoers who are purposely not acting and don’t know the right way.”

Earlier in the day, Will Smith spoke out about the issue for the first time on Good Morning America, noting that the boycott is about something bigger than himself and his nomination snub for Concussion.

Will Smith on
Will Smith on “Good Morning America.”

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“For Jada, had I been nominated and no other people of color were, she would have made the video anyway,” the 47-year-old actor said. “This is so deeply not about me. This is about children that are going to sit down and they’re going to watch this show and they’re not going to see themselves represented.”

On Monday, Pinkett Smith, 44, caused a buzz when she released a video calling for other actors to boycott the awards in solidarity to protest the continued lack of diversity.

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