Oyelowo calls out Oscars for recognizing 'subservient' roles

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
26 PHOTOS
David Oyelowo + Stars of Selma
See Gallery
Oyelowo calls out Oscars for recognizing 'subservient' roles
David Oyelowo gave a bold answer as to why he was passed over for an Oscar nomination for his critically acclaimed role as Martin Luther King, Jr. in 'Selma.'
SANTA BARBARA, CA - FEBRUARY 01: Actor David Oyelowo attends the Virtuosos Award at the 30th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at the Arlington Theater on February 1, 2015 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Jennifer Lourie/WireImage)
SANTA BARBARA, CA - FEBRUARY 01: Actor David Oyelowo speaks at the Virtuosos Award at the 30th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at the Arlington Theater on February 1, 2015 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for The Santa Barbara International Film Festival)
SANTA BARBARA, CA - FEBRUARY 01: Actor David Oyelowo attends a screening of 'Nightingale' at the Metro at the 30th Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 1, 2015 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for The Santa Barbara International Film Festival)
SANTA BARBARA, CA - FEBRUARY 01: Actor David Oyelowo attends a screening of 'Nightingale' at the Metro at the 30th Santa Barbara International Film Festival on l on February 1, 2015 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for The Santa Barbara International Film Festival)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 27: (SUN NEWSPAPER OUT. MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE J. HOGAN GETTY IMAGES REQUIRED) Actor David Oyelowo (second left) with his family attend the European premiere of 'Selma' after party at One Mayfair on January 27, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 27: (L to R) Colman Domingo, Jade Ewen and David Oyelowo attend the European Premiere of 'Selma' at One Mayfair on January 27, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 27: (SUN NEWSPAPER OUT. MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE J. HOGAN GETTY IMAGES REQUIRED) Actor David Oyelowo attends the European premiere of 'Selma' at the Curzon Mayfair on January 27, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 27: (SUN NEWSPAPER OUT. MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE J. HOGAN GETTY IMAGES REQUIRED) Actor David Oyelowo attends the European premiere of 'Selma' at the Curzon Mayfair on January 27, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
SELMA, AL - JANUARY 18: EDITORIAL USE ONLY David Oyelowo attends a special screening of 'Selma,' presented by Paramount Pictures on January 18, 2015 in Selma, Alabama. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)
SELMA, AL - JANUARY 18: EDITORIAL USE ONLY- Oprah Winfrey greets David Oyelowo during the red carpet event for a special screeing of 'Selma' on January 18, 2015 in Selma, Alabama. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)
SELMA, AL - JANUARY 18: EDITORIAL USE ONLY- David Oyelowo waves to audience members at the Selma High School Q&A event on January 18, 2015 in Selma, Alabama. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 15: Actor David Oyelowo attends the 20th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards at the Hollywood Palladium on January 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for A&E Network)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 15: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Actors David Oyelowo (L) and Oprah Winfrey attend the 20th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards at the Hollywood Palladium on January 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for A&E Network)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 11: (EDITORS NOTE: Image processed using digital filters) Actor David Oyelowo attends the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 11: Oprah Winfrey (L) and actor David Oyelowo attends the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards cocktail party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 09: Actor David Oyelowo arrives at the 15th Annual AFI Awards at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on January 9, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 09: (L-R) Actors Angelina Jolie, David Oyelowo and Brad Pitt attend the 15th Annual AFI Awards Luncheon at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on January 9, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AFI)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 09: Actors Matthew McConaughey (L) and David Oyelowo attend the 15th Annual AFI Awards Luncheon at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on January 9, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AFI)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 06: (L-R) Common, Director Ava DuVernay and David Oyelowo attend the 2014 National Board of Review Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 6, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 06: David Oyelowo visits The SiriusXM Studios For 'Selma: An Urban View Special' on January 6, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 05: David Oyelowo arrives for the 'Late Show with David Letterman' at Ed Sullivan Theater on January 5, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Donna Ward/Getty Images)
THE VIEW - The cast of the movie 'Selma,' actors Common, David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo air on ABC's 'The View,' Monday, January 19, 2015. 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)
SELMA, AL - JANUARY 18: 'Selma' director Ava DuVernay participates in the ceremony to commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on January 18, 2015 in Selma, Alabama. (Photo by David A. Smith/Getty Images)
SELMA, AL - JANUARY 18: 'Selma' director Ava DuVernay participates in the ceremony to commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on January 18, 2015 in Selma, Alabama. (Photo by David A. Smith/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

David Oyelowo gave a bold answer as to why he was passed over for an Oscar nomination for his critically acclaimed role as Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma.

"Generally speaking, we as black people have been celebrated more for when we are subservient, when we are not being leaders or kings or being at the center of our own narrative, driving it forward," he said of his snub while at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival this weekend.

PHOTOS: And the Oscar Nominees Are...

Oyelowo, who was nominated for a Golden Globe, further commented that he thought Denzel Washington deserved to win an Oscar when he was nominated in 1992 for his role as Malcom X. He also noted that Sidney Poitier didn't get nominated for his iconic performance as authoritative figure Virgil Tibbs in the 1967 film In The Heat of the Night. Instead, the legendary actor won for Lillies of the Field where he played an itinerant handyman who builds a church for a group of nuns.


"We've just got to come to the point whereby there isn't a self-fulfilling prophecy, a notion of who black people are, that feeds into what we are celebrated as, not just in the Academy, but in life generally," the 38-year-old actor proclaimed. "We have been slaves, we have been domestic servants, we have been criminals, we have been all of those things. But we've been leaders, we've been kings, we've been those who changed the world."

VIDEO: Brad Pitt Leads a Sing-along for Selma Star David Oyelowo

ET caught up with Oyelowo this past month at the 2015 Critics' Choice Awards, and the actor was pretty positive about a change to more diversity in the entertainment industry. "These things happen," he said of his Oscars snub. "The prize for me is that this film is resonating so beautifully with audiences."

David Oyelowo on Oscars' Lack of Diversity: 'We're Just Going to Keep Plugging Away'

Do you think Oyelowo should have been nominated for an Oscar? State your case in the comments and tweet #ETnow.

See photos from the historic 1965 Selma march:
1 PHOTOS
Selma 1965
See Gallery
Oyelowo calls out Oscars for recognizing 'subservient' roles
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE


More on AOL.com:
Wow! Scarlett Johansson stuns in skintight mini dress
Obi Wan, Chewbacca, Vader and gang reunite for new exhibit
Etan Patz's mom says at murder trial that son was trusting
Read Full Story

Sign up for Entertainment Insider by AOL and get the top celebrity, movies, music and TV news delivered to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners

Don't Get Too Close To a Newborn Giraffe Unless You Want to Get Kicked in the Nuts Don't Get Too Close To a Newborn Giraffe Unless You Want to Get Kicked in the Nuts
Nature Gets Revenge On Safari Hunter Who Killed Elephants And Lions For Sport Nature Gets Revenge On Safari Hunter Who Killed Elephants And Lions For Sport
Man Suspects His Wife Is Cheating On Him - Then His Daughter Reveals What's Really Going Man Suspects His Wife Is Cheating On Him - Then His Daughter Reveals What's Really Going