Russell Simmons delivered an impassioned speech about diversity and acceptance in Hollywood during the All Def Movie Awards broadcast on FUSION TV just prior to the Oscars:
I got a phone call from my assistant, and she tells me, she said, ‘I just got a call from the Vanity Fair people. They said, you might not be on the list this year.’
I wanted to do what I did 5 out of these last 20 years. I went there 5 out of the 25 years, I went to that party. I said I wanted to call up Graydon Carter and tell him, ‘Nigga, I got a Tony,’ or ‘I put this show on TV,’ or ‘I made these movies,’ or ‘I sold 100 million records, motherfucker,’ or something! And I would tell him these things just so I could be in the party. But I noticed that if you’re not at the party in Hollywood, you’re not at the party in Hollywood.
So for all the Asians and the Latinos and the African Americans who are not at the party, we ain’t got one black agent nowhere in Hollywood. So our celebration of what we do in front of the camera, hopefully is a prelude to them recognizing that one day, we should be behind the camera in a more meaningful way.
And I think, look—Hollywood’s a very sweet place. They’re all the most progressive and the most—they’re activists, and they have good intentions, but the gates in their community are bigger than the gates in the rest of Americans’ communities. And what they don’t know is what the Cleveland white suburbs love about us. They don’t know how to choose us. And they make mistakes ‘cause they don’t include us. It’s not that I don’t appreciate their intention. It’s that I don’t appreciate their lack of effort to change.
The All Def Movie Awards, broadcast on FUSION TV, started last year as a fun, edgy and grassroots movie awards and celebration with a cultural voice missing from traditional “awards season” shows. The event and party celebrates diversity in motion picture entertainment and continues to push for greater integration, inclusion and awareness of diversity issues in the entertainment industries.