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Kansas filmmaker talks about Hollywood's diversity problem

Monday, January 25, 2016

Kevin WillmottKANSAS CITY, Mo. —Next month’s Academy Awards has a brewing controversy over the lack of diversity among the 20 acting nominees for the second straight year, an issue that has some prominent people in Hollywood opting out of attending the ceremony.

Lee’s writing partner, Kansas filmmaker Kevin Willmott, said it’s more than just an issue about awards.

Lee and Willmott’s movie “Chi-Raq” generated some Oscar buzz when it was released late last year, but the nominations didn’t come.

“It always sounds a little selfish when you’re complaining about awards, but I think it’s deeper than that,” Willmott said.

Willmott, who is also a University of Kansas professor, has made several movies about race. One of them, “CSA: The Confederate States of America,” offers a satirical look at the country had the south won the Civil War.

"In 2016," Willmott said "Hollywood is behind the times."

“I think people think they’re hipper than they really are sometimes, and they think they’re more progressive than they really are,” he said.  Read more.

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