British film-maker Steve McQueen has blamed America's fear of sex for Oscars voters' failure to reward Michael Fassbender with a best actor nomination for his acclaimed role in Shame.
In an interview with the Press Association, McQueen said Fassbender ought to have been garlanded alongside Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Gary Oldman ahead of Sunday's Academy Awards for his portrayal of a New York sex addict, describing the omission as "kind of crazy". Fassbender's absence from the list of Oscars nominees has been one of the talking points of awards season this year, alongside snubs for Tilda Swinton in We Need to Talk About Kevin and Albert Brooks for Drive.
"In America they're too scared of sex, that's why he wasn't nominated," said McQueen, who made his feature directing debut with 2008's Hunger following a career as a Turner prize-winning artist. "If you look at the best actor list you're saying, 'Michael Fassbender is not on that list?' It's kind of crazy. But that's how it is, it's an American award, let them have it."
McQueen described Fassbender, who also starred as Swiss analytical psychologist Carl Jung in the well-received David Cronenberg historical drama A Dangerous Method and as a young Magneto in comic book tale X-Men: First Class in 2011, as a "once in a generation actor". He said: "He's an actor who can transform and transcend, and you actually believe him, so that's the kind of guy he is."
Fassbender himself has not spoken about his Oscars omission but described the possibility of a nomination as "just a bonus" in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter last year. His Shame performance won him the Volpi Cup for best actor at the 68th Venice international film festival last August, as well as the British Independent Film Award for best actor last December. He was nominated for the leading actor Bafta, but was beaten by The Artist's Jean Dujardin.
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