Rev. Al Sharpton Is Coming to Town as Protesters Target the Oscars
UPDATE at 3:26 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016: Sharpton's people say he'll "lead" Sunday's protest. See more at the bottom.
The Rev. Al Sharpton is expected in Los Angeles as protesters, some affiliated with his National Action Network, plan to demonstrate against the Academy Awards' lack of diversity Sunday.
Najee Ali, lead organizer of the planned demonstration near the Dolby Theatre, said Sharpton was expected to show up there. The protest starts at 2 p.m. Sunday at Sunset Boulevard and Highland Avenue, he said.
Sharpton, a national figure who has called for supporters to "tune out" the Oscars, was scheduled to be the guest speaker at 10 a.m. Sunday at First AME Church in the Adams-Normandie neighborhood.
A spokesman for Sharpton couldn't confirm by deadline that he'd be joining protesters, but he did not express much doubt about it.
Ali says the protest is part of a national "TV Tune Out" boycott of the awards over a lack of minority acting nominees for the second year running.
"We're trying to strike while the iron is hot," he said.
A coalition of civil rights groups and Hollywood industry professionals will announce the creation of the Hollywood Diversity Committee tomorrow, Ali told us.
The goal is to pressure film studios and TV networks to hire more minorities.
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"The goal of the committee is to meet with studio heads and encourage them to invest and green light movies that are more racially diverse," he said.
The organization wants Hollywood to create "more opportunities for minorities, women and the LGBT community," Ali said.
UPDATE at 3:26 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016: Sharpton's National Action Network says he'll "lead a rally and demonstration near Dolby Theater" Sunday.
"Similar rallies with National Action Network members across the country will call for greater diversity and real change in the film industry," reads the statement. "The demonstrations are responding to the failure of the Academy Awards to recognize actors of color in the leading categories for the second straight year."
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