Paramount Pictures is offering free digital rental of Selma (2014), directed by Ava DuVernay for the whole month of June. This has been announced shortly after David Oyelowo, the actor who plays Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, made a comment regarding the film’s Oscar snub. Oyelowo said that the film was snubbed as a response to the protest of the murder of Eric Garner by an NYPD officer.
Selma portrays the voting right marches from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. Lead by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this subsequently ended with the President, Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. DuVernay’s movie stars Oyelowo, Tim Roth and Tom Wilkinson. It was nominated at the Academy Awards for Best Picture and also won the Oscar for Best Original Song, ‘Glory’ by John Legend and Common.
It was DuVernay who shared the announcement that Paramount will be offering Selma for free rental this month. Oyelowo also announced that members of the Academy contacted the studio at the time and confirmed they would not be in support of the film because the cast wore T-shirts with ‘I Can’t Breathe’ written on them. Oyelowo said:
“It’s part of why the film didn’t get everything that people think it should’ve got and it birthed #OscarsSoWhite”.– Actor David Oyelowo in reference to the Academy’s response to the cast’s protests (via Screenrant)
Paramount hasn’t said that they made the movie free to rent in reaction to these comments. However, the statement from DuVernay said it is to make access easier and therefore encourage people to educate themselves on the subject. DuVernay wrote on Twitter:
Readers may be aware of recent events that have brought to the forefront the issue of race inequality, not just in America, but all over the world. If you would like more information on the cause, I would urge you to access https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/ where you can donate, sign petitions, and help in many other ways to support the Black Lives Matter campaign. As stated on the website, racism doesn’t go away once the topic stops trending.
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