Sidney Poitier passed away earlier this year but his legacy has been immortalised in film history, having paved the way for future Black stars to take up positions of prominence within the industry. One of the greatest acting stars to have worked in Hollywood, Poitier was a pioneer who still inspires newer generations of aspiring artists.
To celebrate the influence of Sidney Poitier, the Academy decided to include the icon in their ‘In Memoriam’ tribute but it was much too short to actually mean anything. Samuel L. Jackson recently criticised the Academy for hosting such an inadequate tribute for a legend whose impact is simply unparalleled.
In a new interview, Jackson expressed how angry he was when he saw the tribute that the Academy had arranged for such an influential pioneer. 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.”
Pointing out that Poitier was vastly influential for the Black community, the actor commented: “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…”
“He deserves more than 10 fucking seconds of your time, especially for what he meant, not just to us, but to Hollywood – period,” Jackson added while continuing his criticism of the Academy. “He gave dignity to Hollywood. He was Hollywood fucking royalty. And he did not get what he deserved out of that fucking show.”