SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- "Selma" star David Oyelowo is speaking out for the first time about what many are calling a notable Oscar snub.
Oyelowo was not nominated for his critically acclaimed performance as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This year, all 20 lead and supporting actor nominees are white, only the second time that has happened in nearly 20 years.
At the Santa Barbara International Film Festival Oyelowo said black actors aren't recognized enough for playing strong characters.
"We, as black people, have been celebrated more for when we are subservient," he said, "when we are not being leaders or kings or being at the center of our own narrative, driving it forward."
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'Selma' star David Oyelowo speaks about Oscar controversy