‘Selma’ Cast Gets White House Red Carpet After Oscars Snub

Oprah Winfrey along with other members of the cast and crew from the movie “Selma,” mostly snubbed in nominations for the Academy Awards, will get the red-carpet treatment tonight at the most exclusive theater in the U.S.

President Barack Obama will host a private screening of the movie at the White House’s family theater Friday, a day after the film’s largely-black cast was ignored in every acting and directing category by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the annual Oscar nominations.

The movie itself was nominated for best picture and best original song, missing out on award nominations for directing and acting performances it was considered a contender to win. USA Today called the omissions “embarrassing.”

The film is based on the 1965 civil rights march in Selma, Alabama. The screening comes three days before the national holiday honoring civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr.

Those attending will include David Oyelowo, who played King, Carmen Ejogo, cast as King’s wife, Ava DuVernay, the film’s director, Winfrey, who portrays civil rights activist Annie Lee Cooper and was one of the film’s producers, and Tim Roth, who played Alabama Governor George Wallace. Also in the audience will be Representative John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat, who was with King at the march and suffered a skull fracture when state troopers beat the marchers with clubs.

They’ll be joined by rapper Common, who along with singer John Legend, is nominated for the song “Glory” -- a song from the movie that explicitly links the 1965 police brutality to 2014 protests in Ferguson, Missouri, after a black teenager was shot by a white police officer.

Obama said Dec. 1 that widespread protests following the Ferguson incident and chokehold death of Eric Garner in Staten Island “exposed simmering distrust that exists between too many police departments and too many communities of color.”

Obama convened a task force to study police relations and has asked Congress for $263 million that would pay for training and body-worn cameras for up to 50,000 police officers.

The Justice Department has convened its own investigations into Garner’s death, as well as police practices in Ferguson. Grand juries in both cases declined to indict either officer.

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