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January 21, 2015  

“Selma” and The Battle to ‘Diversify’ Hollywood

Courtroom Showdown in Staten Island, N.Y., in Garner-Related Case

The sleeper issue of “diversity” in Hollywood is playing big this year. All 20 actors and actresses nominated in four main Oscar categories—lead actor, lead actress, supporting actor and supporting actress—are white, and it has ignited a firestorm of protest, especially from African Americans in the industry.

Selma, the biopic about Dr. Martin Luther King’s leadership of protests in Alabama—particularly the Selma-to-Montgomery march—that led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act, was nominated for best picture and best song, but director Ava DuVernay and the film’s main actors were snubbed in their respective categories.

Our guest, Armond White, film critic for the National Review and Out Magazine and author of three books on contemporary pop culture, discusses the big scream about the big screen.


“Attorney at War” Alton H. Maddox Jr. returns for Part 2 of his discussion on the Eric Garner case, focusing on his intended showdown in State Supreme Court in Staten Island, N.Y., as legal counsel to Ramsey Orta, who had videotaped the fatal police encounter with Garner, including the chokehold that a medical examiner said caused Garner’s death.

Maddox says he intends to defend Orta on a gun-possession charge, in defiance of an illegal action by the state Legislature more than 25 years ago that “barred” him from the practice of law. 

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