Belfast Telegraph

Samuel L. Jackson pleased with 2017 Oscars diversity

Samuel L. Jackson was starstruck by Lion actor Sunny Pawar.

Samuel L. Jackson was "pleased" by the inclusiveness of this year's (17) Academy Awards.

In 2016, the Oscars were blasted for their lack of diversity after none of the four acting categories included minority actors for the second year in a row.

The #OscarsSoWhite scandal forced officials behind the awards to change the membership of voters to make it a more diverse mix, and at the 2017 Oscars, it seemed like the changes worked as more minority stars were included in the nominations. In addition, African-American actors Mahershala Ali and Viola Davis took home awards and Moonlight, a low-budget movie about a gay African-American, took home the Best Picture prize at Sunday's (26Feb17) ceremony.

Samuel, who spoke out about the diversity issue in 2016, was "pleased" with the outcome of the ceremony and the diversity of the stars and the stories that won, and he hopes it is a sign of things to come.

"Everything changes but hopefully it will be," he told reporters at the Kong: Skull Island premiere. "There are a lot of young filmmakers who tell stories that reflect the world that they grew up in or that they live in, the kind of people they know, love, respect, what they want the world to be."

Samuel, who was joined by co-stars Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson in London's Leicester Square on Tuesday night (28Feb17), attended the awards show on Sunday and shared a picture of himself and with young Indian actor Sunny Pawar, from Lion, on Instagram. In the caption he wrote Sunny "Should Have Won Best Actor tonight" because he "Totally Killed It!!"

At the premiere, the Pulp Fiction actor was asked if he gets starstruck anymore, and he revealed he did when he met the eight-year-old star.

"I was actually quite starstruck the other night by Sunny Pawar, the little kid, he's awesome," he said.

Kong: Skull Island hits cinemas from 8 March (17).

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