In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, the relatively young lawmaker was asked about his thoughts on the lack of racial diversity in Academy Award nominations and whether the Oscars are “too white.”
Since Rubio has been consumed with his presidential campaign, he admitted he didn’t know about the issue dubbed as #OscarsSoWhite and hasn't followed the controversy — which is a little surprising, considering this is the second consecutive year the Academy has featured all-white acting nominees.
However, once host Alisyn Camerota explained “that there aren’t enough people of color who are nominated,” Rubio argued the entertainment is facing larger problems than the lack of racial diversity.
“Hollywood has bigger problems than that,” he said. “I think the bigger problem with Hollywood is the values they are trying to ram down our kids’ throats and how hard it’s made it on parents.”
Indeed, the Florida senator believes the industry should consider the values it promotes instead of trying to create more opportunities for people of color.
Rubio, who has repeatedly expressed his interest in hip-hop and rap music in an apparent attempt to appear more hip than his rivals, said he no longer listens to some of his favorite artists — which include Eminem, Tupac, Nicki Minaj, Pitbull and N.W.A. — because their lyrics are inappropriate for his children.
“Over the last couple of years I’ve gotten really into electronic dance music, so Avicii and Calvin Harris,” Rubio added. “The lyrics are clean, so I can listen to it in front of my kids without worrying about it.”
He is not the first U.S. politician to give his two cents on the issue. Earlier this month, President Barack Obama said the Oscars controversy reflects broader American issues with race.
“I think the Oscar debate is really just an expression of this broader issue of are we making sure that everybody is getting a fair shot?” he said.
Moreover, a number of African-American actors and media figures have already announced their intention to boycott one the most anticipated awards ceremonies of the year to record their protest, while others have slammed their counterparts for making a big deal out of it.