January means awards season is on the horizon for the movie industry. Last year was one of the most awkward Academy Awards in recent memory, as the run up to the show was marred by protests and criticism after the show’s nominees were revealed to be all white. While this year’s nominees have yet to be unveiled, there’s already controversy brewing after “Empire” and “Star” creator Lee Daniels laid into critics of the Academy Awards.

The creative mastermind spoke his mind during an interview with the New York Times, saying “Oscars so white! So what! Do your work. Let your legacy speak and stop complaining, man. Are we really in this for the awards.” Daniels was once nominated for an Oscar for directing “Precious” in 2010, but clearly doesn’t covet the award. He explained his viewpoint further by saying, “If I had thought that way – that the world was against me – I wouldn’t be here now. These whiny people that think we’re owed something are incomprehensible and reprehensible to me. I don’t expect acknowledgement or acceptance from white America. I’m going to be me.”

Daniels isn’t dismissing the adversity minority actors face altogether, but he is criticizing the pursuit of something (The Academy Awards) that he sees as a creation of white Hollywood and white America as a whole. All of this is easy to say when you have one of the most popular shows on television and another one headed that way.

What do you think of what Lee Daniels said?

[via NYTimes]