‘Black Panther’ Director Ryan Coogler Refuses To Join The Motion Picture Academy

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Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

‘Fruitvale Station’ director Ryan Coogler has seen many of his films have success at the Academy Awards. At the 2016 ceremony, ‘Creed’ star Sylvester Stallone was nominated for Best Supporting Actor. ‘Black Panther’ garnered seven nominations, winning Best Original Score, Best Costume Design, and Best Production Design.

Despite his success, Coogler has declined offers to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

“I don’t buy into this versus that, or ‘this movie wasn’t good enough to make this list,’” Coogler told The Hollywood Reporter. “I love movies. For me, that’s good enough. If I’m going to be a part of organizations, they’re going to be labor unions, where we’re figuring out how to take care of each other’s families and health insurance. But I know that these things bring exposure.”

Citing his nomination for the historical drama ‘Judas And The Black Messiah,’ Coogler questioned the timing of his accolades and why it took so long for the Motion Picture Academy to take notice.

“Why did it take 93 years for there to be three Black producers nominated for an Academy Award,” he asked. “Is it because there weren’t three Black people willing to produce movies? Probably not. Was it because we didn’t have the access to the kind of capital to make a big, sweeping studio feature? Maybe a little bit. Was it because we made that stuff and they didn’t recognize it? Maybe a little bit. But none of it feels good. So it’s bittersweet.”

Coogler described reading the script for ‘Judas And The Black Messiah’ with director Shaka King for the first in 2017. “Our jaws just kind of dropped,” he explained “I felt, ‘That should exist.’ ”

‘Judas and the Black Messiah has received five Oscar nominations including Best Original Song, Best Cinematography, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor, and the coveted Best Picture.

The movie won Top 10 Films at the Black Film Critics Circle, American Film Institute Awards, and the National Board of Review.


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