Spike Lee & Jada Pinkett Smith Urge Oscars Boycott
People of color were angry and annoyed when the 2016 Academy Awards nominations were released and all the nominated actors were white. Now, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, filmmaker Spike Lee and actor Jada Pinkett Smith are urging minority entertainers to withdraw their support from the Oscars in protest.
In a lengthy Instagram message, Spike Lee respectfully declined his invitation to the event:
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!!
He said his phone rings off the hook every year when the Oscar nominations are announced as reporters ask for his thoughts on the lack of African-American talent, and he challenged them to ask the white nominees how they felt about it instead.
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. […] People, The Truth Is We Ain’t In Those Rooms And Until Minorities Are, The Oscar Nominees Will Remain Lilly White.
Jada Pinkett Smith joined in the discussion with a Facebook video and a series of tweets, suggesting that the Academy could honor and invite whomever they chose, but black actors and filmmakers could also show their power by choosing not to participate.
Our host Jay Walker has the latest, along with his own thoughts about black actors trying to work in Hollywood: