Following the announcement of the 2016 Oscar nominations, people took to social media to revive the #OscarsSoWhite movement protesting the lack of diversity among those recognized for their achievements in film over the last year.
One of those people disappointed about this year's Oscar nominations is The Real Housewives of Potomac's Gizelle Bryant. "It's unfortunate. It's hard for any black person to wrap their head around the fact that nobody qualified to be a nominee. Nobody black qualified for the past two years when we've had outstanding movies that have been acted by phenomenal black actors and actresses," Gizelle told The Daily Dish last month over the phone. "It's difficult to see that happening, especially on a huge platform like the Oscars."
This must be especially hard for Gizelle since civil rights activism has been a major part of her life. Her father, Curtis Graves, served as a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1967 to 1973, the first African American person to do so since 1899. Her ex-husband Jamal Bryant is a prominent pastor who has done a lot of work with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Still, Gizelle is glad that the controversy was able to make more and more people aware of this issue. "I do love the fact that it's not going unnoticed," she said. "When George Clooney, a white actor, says, 'You know what? Let's take another look at this,' you know this has got to be something that can't be. We've excluded all of the black people? I do love that it has really drawn attention to the issue."
In order to make the Oscars more diverse, Gizelle said that the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, who vote for the nominees and winners of the awards, need to be more diverse. "Maybe they need to start there and start changing that committee," she suggested. "If I were trying to make a significant change, that's where I would start."
Luckily, after the #OscarsSoWhite movement gained traction last month, the Academy's Board of Governors, which reviews the group's membership, has pledged a goal of doubling the number of women and diverse members of the Academy by 2020. Hopefully, that will be one step closer to achieving equality. "The reality of it is let's be fair. Let's just be fair," Gizelle said. "That's all."
See Gizelle with her ex-husband Jamal as well as other pics from her past, below.