‘Selma’ Stars, Oprah and Oyelowo Talk National Protest Marches: ‘Everything is a Wake-up Call’

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For tens of thousands of Americans marching, the time is now to end police brutality.

For Oprah Winfrey, a producer on the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. movie Selma, which picked up four Golden Globe nominations Thursday, a mainstream conversation has been ignited because the nation is now paying attention.

During a call Sunday to discuss Selma (in select theaters Christmas Day, opening wide Jan. 9), Winfrey told USA TODAY that outrage over the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner has served as a national wake-up call.

“Of course,” says Winfrey, who also took a small part in Selma as a black woman repeatedly denied the right to vote in Alabama in 1965. “I think everything is a wake-up call if you’re paying attention. Everything is happening all the time to get our attention. And when you don’t listen the first time, it becomes more and more forceful. So if you didn’t listen to Ferguson, then along comes Eric Garner.”

“In Selma, it was voting rights,” says David Oyelowo, Globe-nominated for playing King in the film. “Initially, it was a black problem. It wasn’t until Bloody Sunday, and the world seeing Bloody Sunday, that it became an American problem. It’s the same thing in Ferguson. When it was just Ferguson, it was a black problem. But when you see the undeniable injustice of this man being murdered on-screen in the shape of Eric Garner, similarly, the nation rallied.”

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SOURCE: USA Today – Andrea Mandell

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