Director George Lucas has hit out at the Academy Awards calling the event a "political campaign" which does not recognise real artistic talent.

Lucas made his comments after Selma star David Oyelowo and director Ava DuVernay did not receive any Oscar nominations.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic was shortlisted in the coveted Best Picture and Best Original Song categories but surprisingly failed to receive nominations for Oyelowo for his portrayal of the civil rights icon or his director DuVernay.

Academy officials were heavily criticised for the lack of diversity in their top picks for the acting awards, but Lucas insists the snub came as no surprise to him.

Speaking on US news show CBS This Morning Lucas said: "There's always controversy. That's why I'm not a member.

"Everybody has their personal opinions about what they think (the nominations) should be. I think David, who was in (Lucas' 2012 film) Red Tails, is truly one of the great actors of all time. And you know, the director, Ava, is amazing. I think they're very, very talented people. But what can I say?

"The thing about the Academy, it's a political campaign, it has nothing to do with artistic endeavour at all. So it's a political campaign. It's like - why do we have a tendency to elect people who drift toward not the most talented, best and brightest we have in the country? It's all political."

He added: "I think Ava and David deserved to be (nominated) - (but) you know, they're starting their careers, and this is an important moment for them. And I think it's a beautiful film, it's a wonderful film."