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Outrage in Chicago Over Police Shooting of Unarmed Black Man; No Actors of Color Nominated for an Oscar; America's First Black President Entering the Final Year of His Term. But how much has this country changed under President Barack Obama; The Person Who Changed My Life: A Week-Long CNN Event Starts Sunday on CNN. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired January 14, 2016 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT SHOW HOST: Outrage in Chicago over another police shooting of an unarmed young black man.
This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.
The death of 17-year-old, Cedrick Chatman caught on camera but it took three years for the video to see the light of day. Was it a Cover up? And this is a case of running while black.
Plus, remember last year when the Oscar snub Soma no actors of color were nominated the hash tag OscarSoWhite was born. Then the Academy listened to the complaints changed its ways and we all lived happily ever after. Not really.
If anything the Oscars are even whiter this year. What's wrong with this picture that you're looking at right now? There is a lot going on tonight, but I want to begin with the anger in Chicago over fatal, shooting of 17-year-old, Cedric Chatman.
It begins on January 7, 2013, when police say the teenager ditches a stolen car and runs from two officers, Kevin Frye and Lou Toth. The officers said -- the officer say as they chase Chatman he turns toward them with an object in his hand. Officer Fry fires four shots, Chatman crumples to the ground.
While a wounded, unarmed Chatman lies in the street he is handcuffed and one of the officers places a boot on top of him. The whole thing takes about 10 seconds, really the object inside of Chatman's hand it turns out to be a black iPhone box.
The city opposed the release of the video for three years, finally dropping their objections just today, and then the release of the video.
So, joining me is Lorenzo Davis, he was the lead investigator on the Chatman case until he was fired. Why happened, why are you fired?
LORENZO DAVIS, CHATMAN CASE LEAD INVESTIGATOR: I was fired because I refused to change my findings on the Chatman case. I found that the shooting was not justified.
LEMON: And they believe that it was justified and you -- you had a different finding than they did. So, they fired you?
LEMON: That's true.
LEMON: OK. So, listen, let's watch this video again. I want you to tell me what you see and why you want to rule the shooting unjustified. So, as you look at it now, you can see that there -- the officers are running behind him. He is running across the street. So, then, why did you think it was unjustified?
DAVIS: Well, I pay most attention to Officer Fry. Mr. Chatman is simply trying to get away. He is running as fast as he can away from the officers. Officer Toth is right behind him, he's doing the right thing. He is pursuing him. He's trying to capture him, while Officer Frye on the other hand, has both of his hands on his weapon. He is in a shooter's position. He is looking for a clear shot.
After Mr. Chatman gets past the parked cars and the traffic control box and whatever other obstructions are in the way, Officer Fry has a clear shot and he begins to shoot Mr. Chatman.
LEMON: There are no pending criminal investigations against these officers. They remain on their beats. Yet, you were fired. Do you find that a bit interesting?
DAVIS: Yes, of course, I do. I was fired not just for that case but for several cases, including officer involved shooting cases and other excessive force cases. But I refuse to change my findings in a number of cases, that simply was the last one where the then chief administrator Scott Ando decided it was time to fire me.
LEMON: You think this is a systemic problem with the Chicago Police Department?
DAVIS: This is a systemic with the Chicago Police Department and with the independent police review authority that was charged with investigating acts of -- allegations of excessive force.
LEMON: So, the question is, who is policing the police and pretty much it's themselves and not doing a very good job at it.
LEMON: Yes. Now you say that there are other videos that you wanted to rule unjustified and you just -- you just mentioned other cases and you wanted to change the system from the inside even before you were fired. How much resistance did you face?
DAVIS: Like I said, I faced resistance all along the way of both excessive force cases and officer involved shooting cases. A few of those cases have been changed already and other cases are pending of being changed simply because it appears that they want all officer- involved shooting cases to be ruled justifiable.
[22:05:12] LEMON: I'm looking at a whole header right here, a whole laundry list of things, a couple of pages that Rahm Emanuel wants to do with the police department including a task force that he has put in place, as well as his pledge of transparency. Do you that's -- do believe it and do you think it's going to make a difference within the force?
DAVIS: Well, I think Rahm Emanuel he wants to do something for his political survival. The task force, I don't believe they are the answer. I believe that the Justice Department coming in, when they conclude their investigation, will have a more important impact on changing the system.
LEMON: Lorenzo Davis, thank you. I appreciate you coming on. We'll have you back as this, we continue to get more information on this. Again, we appreciate it.
DAVIS: Thanks a lot.
LEMON: Now I want to bring in Brian Coffman, he is the attorney for Cedrick Chatman's family. Good evening, Mr. Coffman. Are you doing OK?
BRIAN COFFMAN, ATTORNEY FOR CEDRICK CHATMAN FAMILY: Good evening. Thanks for having me.
LEMON: How is the family doing tonight?
COFFMAN: The family is doing well. They've heard about the news today and they're very excited that the video is finally come out that Cedrick Chatman's story is heard what actually happened on January 7, 2013, but at the same time, you know, it's still a sad day for them having to deal with the loss of their child.
LEMON: Yes. It's hard to watch someone lose their life. And that's what we're essentially seeing on that video. But explain what happened after Cedrick was shot.
COFFMAN: So, what you can see in the video is Cedrick specifically with Officer Toth, there is a shot from the Chicago booth camera which shows Officer Toth putting his foot on top of him after Cedrick is on the ground handcuffed, bleeding. And it's just irresponsible and unreasonable. It actually sheds light to what occurred in the incident as far as the time that elapsed, seven to eight seconds with this occurring.
LEMON: Yes. You know, Laquan McDonald's video was released late last year, we had it here on CNN much discussion, you know, really all over the country about this incident.
Did Cedrick's family think then, what did they think, what do they think? Did they think that there was hope that their son's video would be next and that it would get some attention because of that? COFFMAN: You know, I think with the Laquan McDonald video being
released there is also the Ronald Johnson video that was released after that as well. I think it helped at least get Cedrick Chatman's name back into the limelight here of what actually occurred.
But the unfortunate thing is if you look at the timing of when this video was released as of three weeks ago, the City of Chicago was still the fighting the release of this video. Their own city lawyers filed a response in opposition to our motion and today, they've walk into court an say, well, we're not going to fight this anymore. And the real question that has to be answered is, when was this decision made? Why wasn't it made and who made it.
LEMON: You find it fishy, why do you find it fishy?
COFFMAN: It's the systemic problem that we have with these cases, specifically with officer-involved shootings and other police officer involved cases with not only the City of Chicago, with officers with IPRA and how they handle dissemination of videos, how they keep the public at large informed of these cases.
And by keeping the citizens of Chicago in the dark like they have for so many years at which Mr. Emanuel said today in his press conference that this is just how we have done things. That has to stop because it is not helping the situation currently in the City of Chicago.
LEMON: So then, what do you think the mayor should do? What would you like to see happen next?
COFFMAN: Well, if the mayor wants to be transparent and really promote his change that he is talking about, he's got to give some details. So far, we've had these big word names and changes a little bit with the IPRA investigation and with the chief investigator being hired.
The problem is that there's been no details given by the City of Chicago, they're going to handle these cases in the future or even the current ones that are ongoing.
LEMON: Yes. And then considering all of that, when you look at this officer's history on the force, you know, there are even more questions, tell our viewers about his history.
COFFMAN: So, the history of Officer Fry, which during our litigation we have been able to determine that he has been involved in other officer-involved shootings.
[22:10:02] There have been over 30 complaints of civil rights offenses that people have made against Officer Fry, and even from this case as well from Cedrick Chatman. Officer Fry has never been disciplined, he's never been placed on suspension or desk job to determine what even happened in the Cedrick Chatman case and that is the problem.
And the bigger problem that we have is accountability for officers' actions, also for accountability for IPRA investigations and making sure that all of these are truthful and very transparent and people can trust the City of Chicago when they do explain what happens in cases.
LEMON: Brian Coffman, thank you. The Chatman family attorney. We appreciate you joining us here on CNN. We'll have you back, sir.
COFFMAN: Thank you, sir.
LEMON: When we come right back, is Rahm Emanuel the man to change Chicago? Is he? Plus, this year's Oscars are not just white, they're blindingly white. Why one of the top 20 movies -- one of the top 20 movies of the year didn't make the cut.
LEMON: The City of Chicago today releasing video of the shooting, death three years ago, of an African-American teen by a police officer.
So, joining me now to discuss this is Alderman Anthony Beale. Alderman, I'm glad to have you here this evening. Listen, another black teenager killed by a police. The city keeping video evidence from the public, the possibility that the police may have slanted their report to justify the shooting. What is going on in Chicago?
[22:15:06] ANTHONY BEALE, 9TH WARD CHICAGO ALDERMAN: Well, for years we have had a systemic problem with the police officers protecting one another. And that's why you have just a distrust in the community and people don't trust the police, they don't want to help the people because they feel that the police do not have their interests at heart.
And so, we have to change the culture and we're taking a lot of steps in the City of Chicago to change that culture by implementing some sensitivity training and getting the officers trained on how to deal with people with mental disabilities and things of that nature. We're adding 700 more tasers, and giving the officers tasers.
But, you know, we have a lot of work to do and we're rolling our sleeves up in order to get it done. We have to put trust back in the community, the police have to understand that you can no longer fudge these papers -- the paperwork, you can no longer lie on the paperwork.
Because right now, everybody is walking around with cameras on their hip, in their purse, and on just every pole. You cannot get away with fudging this -- the paperwork and you can't get away with doing wrong and think you're going -- you know, sweep it under the rug.
So, the lid has been popped off. We're going to change it, we're going to reform it, and we have to work with the community, and we have to work with the mayor if we're going to make change in the city.
LEMON: It's interesting. Because I remember being there when those cameras started to be installed in Chicago and they are supposed to catch criminals and now they're catching police officers on the job doing things that they shouldn't be doing as well.
I'm wondering, though, you're talking about what you're doing in the community the sensitivity training and all of that. We know that Mayor Emanuel promised to complete and total reform of the system. Do you think he can deliver that?
BEALE: Well, the question is can we all deliver on that? We all have to roll up our sleeves in order to get this done. We can't just, you know, put it on the mayor's lap and then expect him to change the world. We all...
LEMON: But do you think he can be effective in his role now as mayor in helping everyone do it?
BEALE: Well, one thing I can tell you. The five years I've worked with this mayor, you know, you're not going to find a tougher mayor. And right now, you know, he is facing some challenges, this is probably the toughest thing that he will probably ever have to deal with in his political career and you don't want to go out, you know, with this as a blemish on your record.
So, I believe in my heart that he's going to try to do everything he can in his power to turn this around. And we have to all work together in order to do that.
LEMON: He has the motivation to do it because of his legacy as mayor. And he has to live in that city because he is from Chicago. Listen, Alderman, you know, we heard from Lorenzo Davis that there are more videos still being kept from the public. What do you say to the families of those victims, should all this evidence come out now, do you think?
BEALE: Well, one of the things that we're working with the task force. We have to figure out when these videos can be released. You don't want to release just all of these willy-nilly videos and put them out there and jeopardize the integrity of these investigations.
So, we have to be strategic. We know that the old system is not working and we're trying to be as transparent as we possibly can, but at the same time...
LEMON: How would that jeopardize the integrity of the investigations by putting the video out there? Wouldn't that be part of the investigation? Wouldn't a video show what happened?
BEALE: Well, it could be part of the investigation, it could be part of a court proceeding, any number of things. And so, what we have to figure out in this digital age by reforming a system when we can be as transparent as we possibly can by putting the information out without jeopardizing the integrity of investigation or court proceedings.
And so, I think working with the court systems, working with the lower department we have to find out what's in the best interests of the investigation and also when people are filing lawsuits against the city. LEMON: Have you seen this Mark Konkol the Pulitzer Prize winning
reporter writing about a possible slowdown -- if we can put these numbers real quick, saying that there is a so-called Ferguson effect that's happening in Chicago, that the investigative stop reports -- report police with contact with citizens down 80 percent, gun arrests are down 37 percent. Meanwhile, murders are up 125 percent.
Are you concerned about that as a city leader? And do you agree with it, is it true?
BEALE: Well, what I'm -- well, let me just say, what I'm concerned about is now that the spotlight is being put on the police department, that they are no longer being aggressive and they are no longer trying to do the job like they are capable of doing.
With the Department of Justice coming in, you know, now they are afraid that everybody is watching and they're going to try to figure out what's going to happen to them if they do something wrong.
But the thing is, if you do your job and you do it right you don't have to worry about the repercussions, you don't have to worry about the Department of Justice, you don't have to worry, you know, going out there and doing the job that you're posed to do.
You know, when we look back at all the things that are happening within the city, the police department is the first line of defense. We need the police department as a partner in the community. If we are going the make our community safe they have to be our partner.
But at the same time, you know, you no longer fudge the paperwork; you can no longer cover up because everybody is watching. Everybody has a camera and everybody is going to try to figure out a way to, you know, to make sure that their interest is protected and we have to do what's best for the entire city by transforming the system as we see it.
[22:20:06] BEALE: And we have to do it together.
LEMON: Alderman Anthony Beale from Chicago, thank you, sir. I appreciate you coming on.
BEALE: Thank you.
LEMON: I want to bring in now Neill Franklin, a retired Maryland State police major, and CNN political contributor Van Jones is with me as well. So, Van, are you encouraged that the city decided to release this video. Do you think that this progress at this point?
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: It's limited progress. I mean, listen, Rahm Emanuel has a big challenge, a big opportunity. It's fine to, you know, stop the cover up but you also have to start the cleanup. A big problem you have right now is that there is a culture in Chicago of perjury and impunity within that department.
All of these police reports that are being written, that they use the term, that they are "fudging the reports." That's perjury. That's unlawful. And it's not ignited as a counsel man said to change the culture.
What this mayor has got to do is change the conviction rate for officers who lie under oath. You don't have to go after a police officer to tell me that officer is involved-shootings, I agree. It takes a while to work through the courts. You may not want to release every tape right away. That's fine.
But what you have now is a minuscule number of these complaints that ever resulted in any discipline. But you are seeing a culture of perjury, police officers doing one thing, writing something else and then the video comes out.
He should have a special prosecutor right now to say we are going to put you in jail if you turn in a false police report. That would deal with a lot of this stuff.
But Rahm Emanuel, at this point, still seems to be leading from behind.
JONES: This is one of the toughest guys in American politics leading from behind. It doesn't make any sense.
LEMON: Neil, let's talk about this because you heard when I had the former supervisor, the lead investigator for this case, he talked about, you know, he saw one thing, they saw another.
It seems that this independent review authority is pretty sympathetic to the police. And that's according to their own numbers. They've investigated 322 officer-involved shootings, that's in the last six years. And of those, only two were ruled unjustified. So, my question to him was, who is policing the police? I'll ask you the same question.
NEILL FRANKLIN, RETIRED MARYLAND STATE POLICE MAJOR: Yes. It's very interesting because we believe that these independent review boards are going to do the right thing. The question I have is, who is on that board and what is their -- what are their relationships with the police. I find it deplorable that -- I believe his name was Davis, detective
Davis was, you know, fired...
LEMON: Lorenzo Davis -- yes.
FRANKLIN: ... from the -- yes, fired from the police department for doing the right thing for standing up. And we wonder why police officers, not just in Chicago but around this country in our major cities have a difficult time coming forward when they disagree with such a finding.
If we were able to support those police officers that are out there wanting to do the right job, wanting to do the right thing coming forward with information, if we could support them we could begin, as Van said, to fix this problem and move in the right direction.
I know in some places like here in Maryland right now where I'm in Baltimore, we're trying to put forth whistleblower legislation, which I think is extremely important in protecting these police officers that want to do the right thing.
LEMON: I put up those numbers which is from an investigative reporter, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, Mark Konkol, talking about a possible Ferguson effect. And I want to ask you because you're from Baltimore. Those are the numbers right there where they're saying investigative stops are down, gun arrests are down, homicides are up.
The police activity in Baltimore got pretty slow after the Freddie Gray incident. Do you think that's what happening in Chicago right now?
FRANKLIN: I really believe that is exactly what's happening in Chicago. But that's not the only reason for the increase in homicides. But it is a significant piece. It's multifaceted. I mean, Chicago has gangs. They have crews on corners selling drugs involved in the drug- selling business.
Until we do something about the drug war, you know, the prohibition of drugs until we do something about that and move it from a place from criminal justice into a place of health and education, we're going to continue to have these murders around the country.
LEMON: Van, you touched on this just a moment ago. Rahm Emanuel is taking a lot of heat from both these incidents and how he's handling them. You said that he has a problem and he also has an opportunity. Can he turn this department around? Is he the man to do it or the mayor to do it?
JONES: Well, listen, if there's anybody tough enough to do it's Rahm Emanuel. He was my chief-of-staff when I worked with President Obama. He served President Obama extraordinarily well. Then if anyone is tough enough to do it, it would be him.
But the fact it's not happening is what is so shocking to people. This is Rahm Emanuel? You know, he gets stuff done. He cracks heads. He makes stuff happen. And yet, you don't see things happening.
You know, we have these Blue Ribbon commissions. Put some of these lying police officers in jail. It does not matter if you are justified in shooting someone if you broke the law when you wrote a report that was science fiction.
[22:25:07] You got to tell from the very beginning from the very top, if you lie under oath as a police officer you're going to jail. Then what you will instantly happen is police officers are going to say, listen, I'm not going to cover up -- cover up for you on this report and then let the chips fall where they may.
They went after de Blasio because he stood up against some bad conduct. The police said they were going to, you know, maybe not do their jobs. Guess what? Crime has gone down in New York City. Police officers want to do their job but they want to know what the standard is.
They want to know they are going to be treated fairly. They want to know that if they do the right thing they are not going be fired. If they do the right thing they're going to be rewarded. And if you lie you are going to be punished.
LEMON: van Jones, Neill Franklin, thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate it.
Up next, the Oscar nominations are out and surprise! They are white as ever. Why are so many actors and movies being shut out?
LEMON: A kind of ground hoax. A lot of fans are asking where is the diversity in Hollywood. The Oscar nominations are out today and they are blindingly white. Not a single actor of color is named in any of the four acting categories for the second year in a row.
[22:30:07] I want to discuss this now with April Reign, creator of the #OscarSoWhite, and Nischelle Turner, host of Entertainment Tonight.
Good evening, ladies. Thank you so much for joining me tonight. So, this is...
NISCHELLE TURNER, ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT HOST: Hi, Don. How are you?
LEMON: .. we are very diverse here, unlike the Oscars. So, I'm so glad that you guys are on.
TURNER: Actually some people may say we're not diverse at all.
LEMON: Oh, we are. Trust me, we are. So, I want you, Nischelle, take a look at these photos of this year's Oscar nominations for best actor and actress and here they are, the nominees for the best supporting actor and actresses. Do you notice anything?
TURNER: Yes. You're trying to pull me right in. There is a lot of thing that I noticed. First of all, let me say this, my favorite performance of the year was by Saoirse Ronan in "Brooklyn" and she was nominated and I gave all the credit for that very well deserve.
And I do think that all most the nominations today are very deserve. But having said that, is it jarring? Is it glaringly jarring when you don't see anyone that mirrors what you like in nominations especially in a year when there were so many performances by actors of colors that were worthy? Yes.
And it is a problem that I think the Academy recognizes at least the Academy president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs recognizes and I think that she is trying to push to correct things.
However, this is the second year in a row that we are talking about this, hence, April's hash tag.
LEMON: So, let's see. Idris Elba, Nischelle, in "Beasts of No Nation," Michael B. Jordan, Tess Thompson in "Creed." They didn't get nominated. Sylvester Stallone did in the same movie. Will Smith in "Concussion." Benicio del Toro in "Sicario." I mean, what's her name, Mya Taylor in "Tangerine," and the list goes on. Why are these actors being shut out?
TURNER: You know -- you know, a lot of people speculate that it has to do with the voting pool from the academy, it's 96 percent whites it's over a certain age. So, a lot of times they feel like those people don't identify as well with these performances. I don't give a pass to that at all. I think that good performances are good performances. Art is art and great movies deserve the recognition.
And you named a lot of people that were worthy this year. Definitely. And the list kind of goes on and on. The cast of "Dope" dear white people, these were all fantasies movies, Abraham Atta, who was the lead in "Beast of No Nation," little boy was amazing and got no love throughout this whole award season actually.
So, yes, there were many people that you can name this year. So, I think there is a very good argument to take a look at it. At least take a look at it. But here is the thing, too. I just talked about this, the academy president is a woman of color, African-American woman.
One of the two executive producers of the Oscars this year, Reginald Hudlin, and the host of the show this year...
LEMON: Yes. The host. Yes.
TURNER: ... is Chris Rock. And by the way, you know he's going to have something to say about that.
LEMON: I can't wait for that. So, April, you created the hash tag OscarSoWhite after last year's Oscars. And it is trending again this year. I was not surprised. I knew when I went on Twitter today I will see it. So, what is your mission?
APRIL REIGN, OSCARSOWHITE CREATOR: So, the mission is to call attention to the fact that there is a lack of inclusion and diversity not just with respect to the Oscars nominees, but also when we're talking about overall how movies are green lit. So, in the board room at this...
LEMON: You mean Hollywood in general?
REIGN: In fact, yes, that's exactly right. So, we're talking about the major studios. When movies are green lit. When we've got producers around the table what decisions are being made and what questions are being asked. So, for example, "Birdman" last year, was a fantastic film starring
Michael Keaton. But the question is did Ken Watanabe audition for that role? Was Andy Garcia's name on that list? And of course, we always can talk about Denzel Washington.
So, it needs to be a systemic change from the top down with respect to making sure that movies that include marginalized communities are being made, that they are being supported. You know, we talked "Straight Out of Compton," that movie was fantastic.
LEMON: Huge Box Office.
REIGN: And it received -- it did. And it received the nomination for best original screenplay, but the screenwriters that are named are white, they are not people of color. The movie what happened "Mr. Money" was nominated for best documentary feature that has a white director.
REIGN: And so, it's not to say that there needs to be a token that there needs to be a person of color in every category, instead, the question is, how do we ensure that movies that reflect the new ones, the context, the beauty of this entire country...
LEMON: Are included in this.
REIGN: ... are being represented.
LEMON: Yes. Are being included in this process. And listen...
TURNER: You know, April...
LEMON: ... and I think -- and I think she brings up a good point that this is not about affirmative action...
TURNER: Yes, me too.
LEMON: ... for the movie industry. It's just that it should be, there should be more -- it should be more represented than that it needs to change somehow not just at the Academy Award level.
[22:35:02] And I'll let you respond, Nischelle, but I want to say this, this isn't just coming out of nowhere. Because when you look at someone like Idris Elba, who was nominated for BAFTA, the saga war, the Golden Globe for his role as an African-American in "Beasts of No Nation," he is clearly an excellent actor.
But there are good actors -- there are good actors sometimes who don't get nominated. People get snub all the time, April, sometimes people get passed over. Can we say for sure that this is about race? REIGN: No, we can't say for sure it's about race. But the question
is, it's about all marginalized communities. So, for example, a movie like "Tangerine," which was a documentary about transwomen was not nominated, and yet, Eddie Redmayne was nominated for his role playing a transwoman.
And so, the question then it becomes who couldn't a transwoman play that role, and why aren't we opening the doors to more marginalized communities to take part in the film industry as a whole. So, on camera and behind.
LEMON: Nischelle, I have to go to break real quickly. Would you want to say?
TURNER: Sure. No, I was just going to agree with April. Because I said this again last year, I don't think it's an Academy problem, I think it's a Hollywood problem. And it starts there and until there is more inclusion all the way around, we heard by Erla Davis say at the Emmy's there will still be this divide.
TURNER: Unless the opportunity is given.
LEMON: We are going to continue to talk about this and show some -- more of the people who were actually nominated who deserve to be nominated and why were so many people of color shut out. We'll be right back.
[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We gave the people truth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. But your songs they glamorize the lifestyle of gangs, guns, drugs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ours is a reflection of our reality. What do you see when you go outside your door?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know what I see and it is not glamorize.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You get AK's from Russian and cocaine from Colombia.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You mean, none of us got a passport. So, might want to check your source.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: That was "Straight Outta Compton" got good reviews, made over $200 million in this country alone but did not get an Oscar nomination for best picture.
Back with me now, April Reign and Nischelle Turner. You know, the Oscars traditionally they award big Box Office as part of it, Nischelle. But they are up to 10 slots for best picture, yet, only eight films were nominated. So, take us behind the scenes because a lot of people are wondering why wasn't "Straight Outta Compton" included when they actually had slots for two more films. Explain how that works.
TURNER: Well, actually I have to disagree with you a little bit on one thing because a lot of times we see the films that are nominated for Academy Award they are the smaller films that a lot of people have not seen.
LEMON: Nobody sees, right.
TURNER: So, exactly. So, this year, actually there is a little bit of discrepancy in that because we saw films like "Mad Max" get nominated. That was a big budget blockbuster type film. But how they rank the films and how they decide which films are nominated for best pictures goes these follows.
Apparently, all of the Oscar voters vote for five films, their top five films of the year. Then they are put into a pool, it goes into an algorithm and kind of comes up with a point system. And you have to have a certain number of point to get on the best picture list. That could be up to 10 films.
So, say there are eight pictures like this year that had that number of points, they will be on the best picture list. There could be nine. There could be five. There could be seven. It just depends on how the point system ranks. That's what I was told today when I ask the question.
So, apparently, "Straight Outta Compton" did not get enough points in that system to be on the best picture list. Now I did say this morning that I thought if 10 films were nominated it would get a nomination. If 10 films were not nominated I did think that it would be left off the list...
LEMON: It wouldn't get the nomination.
TURNER: ... just because of that fact.
LEMON: April, I want you to listen why what director Lee Daniels told me last year. His film "The Butler" was snubbed in 2014 for an Oscar. Look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEE DANIELS, "THE BUTLER" DIRECTOR: But here's the thing, the work has to be good. You know, I take it back to the work. And it's easy to call the race card for me and everybody else. I don't -- I don't call a race card. It is what it is. It's part of the -- it's part of -- I didn't we didn't any -- we didn't get anything for "The Butler." (END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: What do you think about that, April?
REIGN: Well, I think that he's right, in part. But there are quality films that are being made. There's no reason why, for example, Ava duVernay did not get a best director nomination for "Selma" last year. And how, in fact, can you nominate so many facets of a movie like "Selma" but not in the -- you know, but not nominate the director? And the same goes true for this year, in fact.
So, I'm not playing the race card either. What I'm saying is that more films, more diverse and more inclusive films need to be made overall, and then let the chips fall where they may and then you decide which of those films are the best after...
LEMON: I think Nischelle -- I think Nischelle summed it up at the very beginning of this. And as I said no one is saying that there should be quotas for any of this or should be any sort of affirmative action. But when you look at every film that was nominated and not one of them included a person of color. It is, as Nischelle said, glaring, right, Nischelle? And then with...
LEMON: ... and so, listen real quickly, when you look at Neil Patrick Harris, he joked about it. I know Chris Rock, I'm looking forward, do you think he's going to take aim at the Academy?
TURNER: Come on, it's Chris Rock. Absolutely, I think he will take aim at the Academy. I did ask today the producers of the show, I said do you think Chris is going to let loose on them? Have you given them green lit, carte blanche for this, and they said, we have no clue what Chris is going to say.
LEMON: He says what he wants.
TURNER: But you know that it's going to be smart and it's going to be...
LEMON: Real quick, I have to go, who do you -- who are the favorites, quickly?
TURNER: For me, Leo diCaprio will win for best actor.
TURNER: I think that Brie Larson will win for best actress, in the supporting category I think Sylvester Stallone will win, in the supporting actress category I think Kate Winslet will win it. The best picture, I don't know. "The Revenant" won the Golden Globe, so I think they come in as a front runner but spotlight could overtake them.
LEMON: Best picture I'm with Jamie Fox "Straight Outta Compton." Oh, wait a minute, I'm kidding.
TURNER: You know what. Goodbye.
LEMON: You know I cast for a...
TURNER: Good night, April.
LEMON: Thank you, April and Nischelle. Whatever. Hey, I'll see you out for the Oscars, Nischelle. All right? So, let's see.
[22:45:06] TURNER: Absolutely, darling, I'll see you.
LEMON: All right, baby. See you, guys, soon.
LEMON: Coming up, Black Lives Matter and black votes matter. I'll talk to the man who says African-Americans should protest by leaving their presidential votes blank.
But first, here at CNN, we are sharing our stories the very special people in our lives, a week-long series. The person who changed my life that begin Sunday. Here is a quick preview for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: America's first black president entering the final year of his term. But how much has this country changed under President Barack Obama?
Joining me now Eddie Glaude Jr., he is the author of "Democracy and Black, How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul." Now that is a title of a book. I like this book.
LEMON: Thank you. I haven't had a chance to read it but I have read the press and I've seen you do other interviews. So, you just watched on Tuesday his final State of the Union.
EDDIE S. GLAUDE JR., "DEMOCRACY IN BLACK" AUTHOR: Right.
LEMON: When he was elected in 2008, he thought that, you know, many people thought that this would be a turning point in race relations in this country. Was it?
GLAUDE: Well, it was in a certain sense. I mean, in some ways, certain sectors of white America lost their minds, right, in terms of the backlash with regards to his presence in the White House.
GLAUDE: We do know that over the last eight years, African-Americans have lost ground, not because of President Obama.
LEMON: Can you say that it's an indictment because some would say, listen, this was during the great recession that he took office, black unemployment is actually down now from when he -- from when he took office in 2009. So, how can this be an indictment of President Obama?
GLAUDE: Well, I mean, I've always argued that he needed to be bolder, right? What we know is that the great black depression, and he's not -- this wasn't not the great recession. We've been -- over 240,000 homes lost. African-American children are in poverty of 38 percent. That number is rising. That number is really scary.
Because for the first time since we've been collecting that data there are more poor African-American children than there are poor white children, and there three times as many white children in the United States than there are black children.
GLAUDE: So, when we think about the numbers now, you think about -- I mean, especially those holiday number, the holiday employment numbers, it's eight point something. We know that that's the result of holiday hiring. Macy's has already indicated that they are going to layout about 4800.
LEMON: I used to do that.
GLAUDE: Do you remember you have to go...
LEMON: Yes, it was Christmas before you drive.
GLAUDE: And so, when we think about the numbers it's about 9.5, 9.6 percent. And when you think about the height of the great recession, the general number that cause everyone to panic, that was about 9.6 percent. So, even though we're not at 16 percent, we're still in crisis mode. We're still in crisis mode.
LEMON: You have made no secret of your disappointment with the president, is that fair to say?
GLAUDE: Yes, absolutely.
LEMON: How do you think that he's done?
GLAUDE: He is a centrist liberal.
LEMON: A what?
GLAUDE: A centrist liberal. What does that mean?
GLAUDE: I take -- I see -- I see him in the vein of Bill Clinton. I think he has done a great job for Wall Street, I think he has done great job for certain interests. He has tried in some significant way to change the tenor and tone of politics in Washington, D.C. But for the most part, the most vulnerable, the most vulnerable those who are on the margins have still suffered. And so, part of the challenge has been we wanted him to be our progressive state.
LEMON: Do you think there -- you took the words out of my mouth.
GLAUDE: Yes, exactly.
LEMON: Do you think that there were -- the expectations were too high for him that he was superman. Some people said, you know, he's the second coming, right? That's what, you know.
GLAUDE: I think, Don, we green screened it. We made him whatever we needed him to be. (CROSSTALK)
LEMON: Don't we always say project onto.
GLAUDE: Yes. But it was in a moment of intense crisis, right? So, here you have all of that energy around the Iraq war. Obama became the object of all of that grassroots energy. So, he was the answer to war candidate. He became the progressive savior, right? He was the guy who was going to right the ship. But when we look at him when we read the audacity of hope very closely, he is who he is. But again, the book is not simply about Obama, though.
LEMON: But is it kind of damned if you do damned if you don't, right? If you do too much, right, if you're overly -- the people who want him to be the super black man. The criticism on the other end is that he is the president of all America not just black America, right.
LEMON: And then if he is too timid they say, oh, he's not black enough because he is not doing, he is not helping black people. So, don't you think he's kind of?
GLAUDE: Yes. All those arguments to me are off center.
GLAUDE: It's not about whether he is black enough. It's not about whether he's the president of all Americans. It's whether he cares about justice. It whether he cares about right. And if you have folk who are languishing in the shadows, if you folk who are struggling to make -- make their mortgages, folk who are struggling to put food on the table, to keep the house roof over their heads, it's not about whether or not they're black or white, it's about whether he's right, he's right.
LEMON: You don't think he cares?
GLAUDE: I think policy wise he didn't change the frame. And for over...
LEMON: So, what should he have done then?
GLAUDE: I think -- I think he should have been more -- I think he should have been bolder. Once, you know, for the first two years we saw, you know, health care, we saw an attempt to put the jobs act out. Once the Congress -- once the Congress shifted, right.
The Berlin Wall as Mark Morell said it came up, right? Berlin Wall came up. At that point when you know that the republicans aren't going to go to work with you, go big. Go big and try to shift -- try to shift the conversation, shift the frame. But part of what I want to say is that the book is not just simply about Barack Obama. Part of the limitations around the president. [22:55:01] But you know that's how people are going to read this.
GLAUDE: Of course. Of course.
LEMON: Especially in the era of Obama which is coming to end the presidency, which at least is coming to an end.
GLAUDE: Right. But what I want to say is that one of limits on his presidency on something that I'm calling the value gap. We talked about the achievement gap, we talked about the wealth gap, we talked about the empathy gap. But what's something more fundamental in this country and I don't want to hear what you think about this.
I think at the heart of this nation is the belief -- this is the value gap, the believe that white people are valued more than others. And no matter what the inputs are, no matter what the inputs because that belief still obtains in our social practices and our social practices, in our political arrangements, in our economic realities, no matter what happens, right, we're going to end up with racial inequality even with a black man in the White House.
So, if you have a value gap in the context of slavery, a value gap in the context of reconstruction, the value gap in the context of Jim Crow, a value gap in the context of a black presidency. You're still going to have people languishing in the shadows. And so, if that's true what we need in this country is a revolution of value.
LEMON: Yes. I have to go but I will tell you, I think -- I think it was Larry Wilmore or someone who have said it last night, that we think that slavery was a long time ago, right? And it's really -- it's just 140 years. It's like two 70-year-old grandmothers lifetimes ago.
GLAUDE: Exactly. Yes. That's what he said exactly.
LEMON: Thank you. I appreciate it.
GLAUDE: Thank you so much. I appreciate it. Thank you.
LEMON: We'll be right back.
[22:59:57] LEMON: That's it for us tonight. Thank you so much for joining us. I'll be right back here tomorrow night. AC560, the post of a special starts right now.