Jada Pinkett Smith suggests boycott of Oscars over lack of diversity
The Academy Award nominations were announced last week and, once again, the lack of diversity among this year’s nominees is a hot topic. For the second year in a row, all 20 acting nominees were white. There was only one non-white nominee for best director (Alejandro G. Iñárritu), and no women. And two well-regarded films informed by the black experience — Creed and Straight Outta Compton — were snubbed in the best picture category. Also, Idris Elba’s Oscar worthy performance in Beasts Of No Nation was another major snub, as well as Will Smith's performance in Concussion.
Soon after, the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite started trending on Twitter and people weighed in on the lack of diversity in this year’s Academy Awards nominations. Famous faces including Don Cheadle, Chris Rock, Tyrese, Snoop Dogg, Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith also took to social media to voice their grievances, even going as far to ask if ‘people of colour’ should boycott this year’s ceremony in protest.
#OscarsSoWhite... Again. I Would Like To Thank President Cheryl Boone Isaacs And The Board Of Governors Of The Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts And Sciences For Awarding Me an Honorary Oscar This Past November. I Am Most Appreciative. However My Wife, Mrs. Tonya Lewis Lee And I Will Not Be Attending The Oscar Ceremony This Coming February. We Cannot Support It And Mean No Disrespect To My Friends, Host Chris Rock and Producer Reggie Hudlin, President Isaacs And The Academy. But, How Is It Possible For The 2nd Consecutive Year All 20 Contenders Under The Actor Category Are White? And Let's Not Even Get Into The Other Branches. 40 White Actors In 2 Years And No Flava At All. We Can't Act?! WTF!! It's No Coincidence I'm Writing This As We Celebrate The 30th Anniversary Of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's Birthday. Dr. King Said "There Comes A Time When One Must Take A Position That Is Neither Safe, Nor Politic, Nor Popular But He Must Take It Because Conscience Tells Him It's Right". For Too Many Years When The Oscars Nominations Are Revealed, My Office Phone Rings Off The Hook With The Media Asking Me My Opinion About The Lack Of African-Americans And This Year Was No Different. For Once, (Maybe) I Would Like The Media To Ask All The White Nominees And Studio Heads How They Feel About Another All White Ballot. If Someone Has Addressed This And I Missed It Then I Stand Mistaken. As I See It, The Academy Awards Is Not Where The "Real" Battle Is. It's In The Executive Office Of The Hollywood Studios And TV And Cable Networks. This Is Where The Gate Keepers Decide What Gets Made And What Gets Jettisoned To "Turnaround" Or Scrap Heap. This Is What's Important. The Gate Keepers. Those With "The Green Light" Vote. As The Great Actor Leslie Odom Jr. Sings And Dances In The Game Changing Broadway Musical HAMILTON, "I WANNA BE IN THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENS". People, The Truth Is We Ain't In Those Rooms And Until Minorities Are, The Oscar Nominees Will Remain Lilly White. (Cont'd)
Straight Outta Compton producer, Will Packer, also hit out at the Oscar nominations, and Academy President Cheryl Boone Issacs said she was disappointed with the lack of diversity among this year’s nominees, saying: "Of course I'm disappointed, but this is not to take away the greatness [of the films nominated]."
UPDATE: Academy President Cheryl Boone Issacs has released a statement on Twitter where she promises to conduct a review of membership recruitment "in order to bring about much-needed diversity in our 2016 class and beyond."
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) January 19, 2016
Photo Credit: CHRIS PIZZELLO
What are your thoughts on the Oscar nominations? Do you think boycotting the Oscars will be the best solution? Tweet us your thoughts @MOBOAwards