Bad Trip star Lil Rel Howery defended the Academy’s review in February, arguing that the campaign produced for Riseborough, which reportedly included getting notable Hollywood talent like Gwyneth Paltrow and Amy Adams to spread the word of her performance, would not work for Black actors.
“We’ve always done that type of campaigning. Nobody cares. You know what I mean? What the problem is, if I could be honest about her campaign, I feel like she knew who the members [were],” Howery said on a Feb. 2 episode of Vulture’s Into It podcast.
The actor also said the Academy should further review the diversity of its members, arguing Deadwyler, Davis, and The Woman King director Gina Prince-Bythewood would have not been snubbed if the Academy were more diverse.
“I hate that’s the only investigation the Academy has because I feel like, even though they keep telling us the members are diverse, I don’t believe it,” Howery said. “It’s just very unfortunate that we keep — and just being honest, especially as Black people, we want to be recognized by the Academy so bad.”