02/24/2015 06:39 pm ET Updated Feb 27, 2015

'12 Years A Slave' Screenwriter John Ridley Explains Why He Feels 'Lucky To Be A Black Man' In Film

John Ridley scored a career milestone when he was awarded an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay in “12 Years A Slave” during the 86th annual Academy Awards last year. However, although that particular award show marked a slight improvement with the Academy’s streak of diversity issues, the celebrated screenwriter feels the concern over the lack of representation extends much more beyond film.

“It’s difficult all the way around. And first and foremost, equal access is fair access is something we have to address. And it’s more than just if David [Oyelowo] got a nomination or not,” Ridley said to host Ricky Camilleri during a HuffPost Live segment on Tuesday. “If you look in the TV space and look at how few female directors are working. How few females are in the game…Latinas, Asian-Americans...”

“Unfortunately, and I mean this slightly kidding, I’m lucky to be a black man in the industry right now and where I am,” he admitted. “So to begin with whether it’s entertainment, whether it’s the automotive industry, whether it’s the dot com business, fair and equal access for everyone is vitally important. And it’s particularly important for us as storytellers. To try to tell stories to the world we all have to have challenges and different points of view if we’re going to put them out into the space.”

Check out more of John Ridley’s HuffPost Live segment in the clip above or watch the full HuffPost Live conversation here.



2015 Oscar Nominees