As actors continue to weigh in on this year’s all-white slate of Oscar acting nominees, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, actress, producer, and wife of Samuel L. Jackson, offered a broader view of the situation last night at the Lyceum Theatre, where she performed in a benefit for the Arthur Miller Foundation. Speaking of her husband and his role in The Hateful Eight, she said that their absence from this year’s ceremony would simply be a matter of circumstance. “I don’t want to boycott, I’m not boycotting, I just won’t be there," she laughed. "My husband, Sam Jackson, is in Australia. He didn’t get nominated, and he should’ve gotten nominated."
Still, Jackson, herself an NAACP Image Award nominee this year for her work in Show Me a Hero, insisted that diversity should be an issue through the entire year, not just during awards season. “I think that we have to learn how to take care of situations in peacetime so when a war comes, like the Oscars or whatever, metaphorically, you’re not acting so reactionary,” she said. “You’re armed, you have a platform to stand on. So during the year, we need to be inside the houses of the producers, inside the studios, talking to them and getting them to green light other movies.”
But she also joked that she is not completely comfortable with the changes the Academy recently announced. “That has me very scared, because I’m in the Academy, and I said, ‘Oh, have I been in a film in the last ten years?’” she laughed. “I don’t want to lose my membership!”