Entertainment & Arts

Oscars 2016: Sylvester Stallone considered boycott

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Media captionOscar nominees gather for 'Class of 2015' lunch

Sylvester Stallone says he thought about boycotting the Oscars ceremony because of this year's diversity row.

The 69-year-old actor has a best supporting actor nod for his role as Rocky Balboa in boxing drama Creed.

At the annual Oscar nominees' lunch in Los Angeles, Stallone revealed he'd consulted Creed director Ryan Coogler about attending the awards.

"I said, 'if you want me to go, I'll go, if you don't, I won't'," Stallone said.

"He said, 'Just go there and try to represent the film.'"

Neither Coogler nor Creed's star Michael B Jordan, who are both black, were nominated.

Stallone added: "I do believe things will change and it's a matter of time and all talent will rise to the top but it's a matter of getting a new paradigm, a new way of thinking."

Oscars co-producer David Hill told Variety at Monday's lunch event that this year's Oscar show "will be the most diverse ever".

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Sylvester Stallone is nominated for his role as Rocky Balboa in Creed - almost 40 years since he was up for best actor in the original Rocky in 1977

Several top industry figures, including Will Smith and Spike Lee, have said they will not attend the ceremony after no black or minority actors were nominated in the four Oscars acting categories for the second year running.

Stallone was last nominated for an Oscar in 1977 for his lead performance in the original Rocky.

He said: "I never thought I would be able to cross this threshold again. As you get older miracles begin to diminish, I couldn't be more thrilled. My daughters look at me now as an actor rather than a bad golfer.

"I tell them I used to do this but they won't look at my videos."

The Oscar nominees lunch, at the Beverly Hilton hotel, brought together more than 150 nominees for a "class photo" ahead of the Oscars on 28 February.

British star Eddie Redmayne said he was trying to enjoy the "extraordinary ride" of his second best actor nomination in two years.

Redmayne won the best actor Oscar last year for his role as Stephen Hawking in The Theory Of Everything. This year he is shortlisted for his portrayal of transgender artist Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl.

Image copyright Image Group LA/AMPAS
Image caption The Oscars 'class photo' of 2016

His co-star Alicia Vikander has a best supporting actress nod for her role as Elbe's wife Gerda.

Asked if the acting nominees had discussed the diversity issue, Redmayne told the Press Association: "We haven't all met together until this occasion but it's on everyone minds and the way it has been handled seems to be a positive step."

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