Academy Member P.J. Soles Responds to Oscars Diversity Controversy

Halloween star and genre icon P.J. Soles has been a member of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences for more than 35 years, and as Will and Jada Smith and others are threatening to boycott this year’s Oscars awards ceremony due to the lack of diversity among the nominees in the actor categories, Soles has responded with a statement via her Facebook page yesterday.

You can read P.J.’s full statement below, and then give us your thoughts in the comments section!

I have been an Academy member since 1980, and I am really upset about the unfair criticism aimed at me & my fellow Academy members. I spend a lot of time watching screeners & I feel I am very conscientious when deciding on my nominations. Only actors nominate actors and Best Picture, and all the other depts. nominate within their category and Best Picture, and then we all vote for everything on the final ballot. FYI, I nominated four African American actors on my ballot this year based solely on their extraordinary performances. It might have been close or perhaps some of the Academy actors didn’t watch all the films. 

“I really think it’s a sad situation to complain about awards of any kind. It’s like those Little League parents that want both the winners & losers to get trophies. Let’s not forget the moment when someone accepts an Oscar, and they’re speechless and crying and filled with joy! It’s because it is a hard earned glorious moment of being recognized by their peers, and we should be applauding them and not spoiling their moment because of misconceptions. I believe everyone gets a fair opportunity within the voting system regardless of the color of their skin. 

“If you look at the stats of our membership listed below from 2013, we are not a big group. I can’t believe the thunder that is rumbling about this year’s awards. Aren’t we better than this?”


Matt Artz

Founded Halloween Daily News in 2012 and the Halloween International Film Festival in 2016. Professional writer/journalist/photographer since 2000.