Oscar-winning producer denounces 'spoiled brats' crying 'racism'

Spike Lee, Pinkett Smith Boycott Oscars, Academy Promises More Diversity
Spike Lee, Pinkett Smith Boycott Oscars, Academy Promises More Diversity

Gerald Molen, a voting member of the Academy who earned a best picture Oscar for producing Schindler's List, has some very choice words for the "spoiled brats" who are crying racism over the lack of diversity in the nominations this time around.

"There is no racism except for those who create an issue. That is the worst kind. Using such an ugly way of complaining," Molen told The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday.

So far, Spike Lee, Michael Moore, Jada Pinkett Smith and her husband Will Smith have said they will not attend the Oscars because all of the 20 acting nominations went to white actors.

"The idea of a boycott is ridiculous," Molen said. "Are their noses bent out of shape by the award nominations? Of course. That is normal in a town of egos and red carpet desires. While there were many performances of note, not all my choices for 'best' in the various categories have been realized."

Academy Award nominations 2016:

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Molen revealed that Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies got his vote for best film as he thought the film was "masterful," and that "[s]adly that placed a lot of other films in second place, but there can only be one." The veteran producer said he at least had some sympathy for Will Smith, because he gave a worthy performance in Concussion.

"But even then it is not like he has been ignored or overlooked in the past. I understand his disappointment but see no prejudice or racism in his not making it. Who knows, maybe he lost by one vote," said Molen. "I say to all my co-members: 'stop acting like spoiled brats. Look to the next awards show for recognition - if you deserve it'."

He also addressed each of the four who have announced their non-participation individually.

"The only comment that might have some legitimate substance is the one from Jada Pinkett. I understand her disappointment for her husband, but that doesn't mean she is correct in her analysis," Molen said.

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"As far as Michael Moore is concerned, he is a socialist always looking to insert his brand of racist hatred. Spike Lee -; haven't I heard this from him before?"

That Molen disagrees with many of his Academy compatriots is to be expected. After producing Schindler's List, Jurassic Park, Twister, Rain Man, Minority Report and other blockbusters, he executive produced 2016: Obama's America, the documentary from conservative activist Dinesh D'Souza.

Molen added that he doesn't know the racial make-up of the more than 6,000-member Academy, but it's a "stupid assumption" to presume a good number of white members aren't voting for black actors due to their skin color.

"In a liberal town like Hollywood, that makes about as much sense as saying all members of the Academy vote Republican," he quipped.

Email: Paul.Bond@THR.com

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