Since the nominations for the upcoming Academy Awards were announced earlier in January (16) there has been a growing swell of criticism about the lack of diversity among them. Stars including Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith and Spike Lee are boycotting the 28 February (16) ceremony because of the lack of black nominees, and it's something MCQueen - who picked up the best picture gong for 12 Years A Slave in 2014, the only black director to ever triumph in the category - feels strongly about too.

"I don’t even want to wait 20 years,” he told Britain's The Guardian newspaper. “Forgive me; I’m hoping in 12 months or so we can look back and say this was a watershed moment, and thank God we put that right.”

MCQueen has touched on the diversity issue in Hollywood in the past, and he finds it staggering that some white stars prefer not to get involved. As far as he's concerned it is a problem which affects everyone, regardless of their race, and so a public conversation needs to be had.

"You are in it! Are you living in a different world from everyone else? I don’t think this is a 'black' issue," he said. "I think this is our issue. If people want to categorise it as a black issue, that’s weird. Just like if I was talking about women in film. It’s my issue, too. It’s our issue. It’s about ‘we’.

"The real issue is movies being made. Decisions being made by heads of studios, TV companies and cable companies about what is and is not being made. That is the start. That is the root of the problem.”

The Academy has announced plans to change its membership system to ensure future nominations lists are more inclusive, but a number of actors have added their voices to the concern. Danny Devito, whose 2000 movie Erin Brockovich was nominated for best picture, has blamed America as a whole for the issue.

"It's unfortunate that the entire country is a racist country," he told AP over the weekend (23-24Jan16). "This is one example of the fact that even though some people have given great performances in movies they weren't even thought about.

"We are living in a country that discriminates and has certain racist tendencies so sometimes it's manifested in things like this and it's illuminated. "But just generally speaking we're racists. We are a bunch of racists."