Scoop: Damon says Hollywood must do more to support diversity

Actor Matt Damon, co-founder of Water.org, takes part in a panel discussion on the global water crisis during the 2016 Sundance Film Festival on Saturday in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Actor Matt Damon, co-founder of Water.org, takes part in a panel discussion on the global water crisis during the 2016 Sundance Film Festival on Saturday in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Matt Damon says the movie business has “a long, long, long way to go” when it comes to diversity.

Hollywood must do “much, much, much more” to reflect the audiences who watch movies, the best actor nominee said Saturday.

“We’re talking about huge systemic injustices around race and gender that are a lot bigger than the Oscars,” Damon said.

Diversity has dominated the conversation around the Academy Awards since Jan. 14 when the nominations revealed a second consecutive year of all-white acting nominees. On Friday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced sweeping changes that include doubling its female and minority members by 2020.

Damon said the move is “a wonderful first step.”

“But that’s what it is,” he said. “A first step.”

In September, Damon apologized for comments he made regarding diversity in filmmaking that sparked widespread backlash, after a portion of a conversation from HBO’s “Project Greenlight” circulated online.

Macklemore on race

Macklemore explores racism and hip-hop in a new song called “White Privilege II,” rapping about a white person’s position in society with black people fighting injustice and even namechecking Iggy Azalea for appropriating black culture, along with himself.

The track, released Friday, is close to nine minutes long and starts with the Grammy-winning rapper at a march in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I wanna take a stance because we are not free, and I thought about it, we are not we,” he raps on the song, released with musical partner Ryan Lewis. “Am I in the outside looking in? Or am I in the inside looking out?”

Essence magazine entertainment director Cori Murray said she appreciated Macklemore’s honesty.

“I don’t think there’s an easy answer, and I think that he really did just say very plainly, … ‘I know I’m appropriating black culture, but I’m trying to do it in the most authentic way,’” Murray said.

‘Revenant’ braves blizzard

The snowy frontier saga “The Revenant” weathered a blizzard-ravaged box office.

Weekend movie-going was affected up and down the East Coast by Winter Storm Jonas, which forced theater closures in Washington D.C. and New York, and caused hundreds of theaters to suspend showings. Studio executives said the storm had a major effect on business.

“It had a huge effect on the entire marketplace,” said Kevin Grayson, head of domestic distribution for STX Entertainment, which debuted the horror thriller “The Boy.”

Got scoops or Bay Area celebrity gossip? Email scoop@sfexaminer.com.

Academy AwardsChris RockIggy AzMacklemoreMatt DamonOscarsThe RevenantWinter Storm Jonas

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