Sylvester Stallone almost boycotted Oscars

By Wade Sheridan  |  Feb. 9, 2016 at 12:51 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Sylvester Stallone considered boycotting the Oscars until he talked things over with Creed director Ryan Coogler.

The actor who won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for Creed, discussed possibly joining in on the Oscars boycott while attending the Oscar nominees luncheon in Beverly Hills Monday.

According to Stallone, he left the decision up to Coogler. "I remember I spoke with [director] Ryan Coogler when this [#OscarSoWhite controversy] happened, and I said, 'How do you want to handle this? Because I feel like you are responsible for me being here,'" Stallone said.

"I said, 'If you want me to go, I'll go, if you don't, I won't,'" he recalled. "[Coogler said] 'No, I want you to go.' That's the kind of guy he is. 'I want you to go and respect us and stand up for the film.'"

Stallone is the only nominee for Creed despite the film earning rave reviews. The boxing drama also stars African-American actor Michael B. Jordan. Coogler is African-American as well.

"Michael Jordan, every time I looked in his eyes as an actor, I said, he was making me better. I think he should've been given a lot more respect and attention," Stallone said. "[Coogler] goes, 'Sly, just go there, try to represent the film, and we feel you deserve it. Eventually things will change.'"

In 1977, Stallone was nominated for an Oscar in two categories, Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay for "Rocky."

This year's Oscar nominations represent the second year in a row that all 20 nominees in acting categories are white. An #OscarsSoWhite hashtag brought attention to the issue on social media as various celebrities including Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, Spike Lee, Whoopi Goldberg, Lupita Nyong'o and others have expressed their disappointment in the lack of diversity.

Some have discussed boycotting the Feb. 28 awards show. Lee said he wasn't calling for a boycott, but that he wouldn't attend the show.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently voted unanimously to make the voting members "significantly" more diverse following a statement from Academy President Cheryl Boone who mentioned in January that she is "heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion."

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