Harvey Weinstein has a bone to pick with Hollywood. Nearly two years after financing a trifecta of diversity-highlighting films that went largely snubbed by the Academy, the straight-talking Weinstein Company head — while being honored at the third annual First Time Fest at the Gansevoort Park Avenue Hotel, designed to showcase first-time filmmakers — spoke candidly (and very self-servingly) about his distaste for Hollywood’s lily-white awards-season mentality:
People were talking about diversity in this year’s awards because of Selma? Try this one on … I did $130 million for [Lee Daniels’s] The Butler, $16 million for Fruitvale [Station], and $25 million on Mandela [Long Walk to Freedom]. Three movies, and I didn’t get an Oscars nomination for all three! They said “Okay, well it’s 12 Years a Slave that’s going to be the movie that gets nominated.” And I go, “Well, what happened? You can’t put three black actors in the Best Actor category? You can’t put two black screenwriters in? Oprah Winfrey, who killed it, or Forest Whitaker? Or David Oyelowo, who’s a great actor?” So I was just thinking, Wow, you know, where were you defending me last year? I just wanted to do three at once. It was in my mind to do more than one. I’ll still do it again, though; I don’t care.