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Ian McKellen says Oscars bias against gays too

By
Shawn Price
Sir Ian McKellen said the Oscars current problem with diversity isn't just about about people of color, it's about gays too. File Photo by Dennis Van Tine/UPI
Sir Ian McKellen said the Oscars current problem with diversity isn't just about about people of color, it's about gays too. File Photo by Dennis Van Tine/UPI | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Sir Ian McKellen said the current backlash toward the Oscars lack of diversity should include gay actors as well.

The Oscar nominated actor and co-founder of the LGBT rights organization Stonewall said there is a lack of diversity in Hollywood but it's not just exclusive to people of color.

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"No openly gay man has ever won the Oscar; I wonder if that is prejudice or chance," McKellen told The Guardian. He pointed to the Oscars Tom Hanks, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Sean Penn won for playing gay men. "What about giving me one for playing a straight man?" he asked.

The 76-year-old McKellen, who is openly gay, was nominated for best actor in 1999 for Gods and Monsters and in for best supporting actor in 2002 for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

"As a representative of the industry they're in, it's receiving complaints which I fully sympathize with," he said to Sky News. "It's not only black people who've been disregarded by the film industry, it used to be women, it's certainly gay people to this day. And these are all legitimate complaints and the Oscars are the focus of those complaints, of course."

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Academy insiders held a meeting last week to make changes in voting and recruitment in hopes of doubling the number of women and diverse members by 2020.

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