Sir Ian McKellen has become the next in a long line of celebrities to speak out against the academy and the discrimination in Hollywood by adding his opinion that gay actors are "disregarded by the film industry."
The 76-year-old openly gay actor has explained that, although he is entirely sympathetic to people of color being "being ill-treated and underestimated," the prejudices of the academy stretch further than race.
In an interview with Sky News, McKellen used the current climate of debate about the academy to raise how he feels minorities are treated, he told interviewers that:
"As a representative of the industry they’re in, it’s receiving complaints which I fully sympathize with. It’s not only black people who’ve been disregarded by the film industry. It used to be women; it’s certainly gay people to this day. And these are all legitimate complaints, and the Oscar is the focus of those complaints of course."
McKellen also commented that the make up of the academy's voting body should be more reflective of today's society, the veteran actor explained:
"If you are trying to have a career, as a black or Hispanic actor in a state — California — where white people are now the minority, and you are being judged by an Academy where the vast majority are white, male, middle-aged and old … well, perhaps that is the wrong yardstick."
Although he has been nominated for an Academy Award two times, McKellen has never won and he admitted that sometimes he questions whether there are deeper reasons for the decision. The actor told The Guardian:
"No openly gay man has ever won the Oscar; I wonder if that is prejudice or chance."