Lord of the Rings star Ian McKellen said the Academy Awards also discriminates against gay people amid mounting criticism of the lack of diversity among nominees.
The 76-year-old actor, who is openly gay, said he feels empathy with Hollywood’s black stars as gay actors are still being treated differently due to their sexuality. "It's not only black people who've been disregarded by the film industry,” he told Sky News on Monday. “It used to be women. It's certainly gay people to this day.”
The recent Oscar nominations sparked outrage for their lack of diversity with zero non-white nominees in the acting categories for the second year in a row. Will Smith, his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, and Spike Lee have all said they would boycott the awards show. Many others including George Clooney, Lupita Nyong'o and Viola Davis have spoken out about the controversy.
"These are all legitimate complaints,” McKellen said.