Sylvester Stallone was ready to boycott the Oscars.
The star, 69, is up for Best Actor in a supporting role at the upcoming Academy Awards but told his Creed director Ryan Coogler he would opt not to attend in support of the filmmaker and his co-star Michael B. Jordan, who were surprise omissions from the nominations list, if he preferred him not to go.
Discussing the #OscarsSoWhite controversy surrounding the lack of diversity in the nominations, Sylvester said: “I remember I spoke with Ryan Coogler when this [#OscarsSoWhite controversy] happened.
“I said, ‘Ryan, how do you want to handle this? Because I really believe you are responsible for me being here.’ I said, ‘If you want me to go, I’ll go. If you don’t, I won’t.’
“He said, ‘No, I want you to go.’ That’s the kind of guy he is. He wants us to go and represent the film.”
The action legend also suggested co-star Michael should have been nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
Speaking at a luncheon for nominees yesterday, he told reporters: “Michael Jordan, every time I looked in his eyes as an actor, I said, he was making me better. I think he should’ve been given a lot more respect and attention.”
Following the controversy, the Academy’s Board of Governors have pledged to double the number of minority and female members by 2020 and the Expendables actor is hopeful the changes will make a difference.
He said: “Eventually all talent will rise to the top. It’s just a matter of, I guess, a new paradigm and a new way of thinking.”
The Academy Awards, hosted by Chris Rock, take place on February 28.