Samuel L. Jackson criticises Oscars over Sidney Poitier tribute: “He was Hollywood fucking royalty”

“He deserves more than 10 fucking seconds of your time”

Samuel L. Jackson has criticised the Oscars for its handling of the death of actor Sidney Poitier, saying that he should have had “a whole section”.

At the ceremony in March the late actor was commemorated with a 40 second tribute at the beginning of the In Memoriam section. His work was also celebrated alongside Ivan Reitman and Betty White during an additional song-led section.

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times about the memoriam tribute, Jackson said: “I’m still a little ticked that the greatest actor we had in Hollywood died and they gave him, what, 10 fucking seconds. No. It should have been a whole Sidney Poitier section.

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“The reason Will Packer is producing this show is because of this guy. The reason Will Smith won an Oscar is because of this guy. The reason for Denzel [Washington], the reason for me, the reason for Danny [Glover], the reason for everybody is that guy, and he deserves more than 10 fucking seconds of your time, especially for what he meant, not just to us, but to Hollywood – period.

“He gave dignity to Hollywood. He was Hollywood fucking royalty. And he did not get what he deserved out of that fucking show.”

Jackson was also critical of the treatment of the honorary Oscar winners at the Governors awards, including himself, Liv Ullmann and Elaine May, which was only featured in brief moments edited into the main telecast.

Comparing this treatment with the decision to have athletes Tony Hawk, Shaun White and Kelly Slater present a 60-year celebration of James Bond, Jackson added: “I’m not saying it’s wrong for skateboarders and snowboarders to be presenting Academy Awards. But god – no! They have their show. They have the ESPYs. Go do that. This is the night Hollywood celebrates fucking Hollywood.

“That thing that we used to have when I was young, watching it and wondering, ‘What am I going to say when I get mine’ was the glamour of it all, the extravagance, the mystique that is Hollywood. Some of that’s gone.”

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At the ceremony Jackson reunited with his Pulp Fiction co-stars Uma Thurman and John Travolta to mark the 28th anniversary of the film’s release.

Poitier, the first Black man to win the Oscar for Best Actor, died in January aged 94 from heart failure.

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