Jada Pinkett Smith and filmmaker, Spike Lee, plan to boycott the Academy Awards this year due to the show’s lack of diversity within its nominee selections.
Invoking the late Reverend Martin Luther King’s legacy on his birthday, the two prominent African-American celebrities made a point to state their opinions about the racial matter.
Both, have expressed that they will not be attending the ceremony on February 28th.
Jada even posted a video on Facebook stating that she would not even watch the Oscars this year. Her husband, Will Smith, had been considered a contender for his role in the new film ‘Concussion,’ but was not nominated.
It is no mistake that Jada used today, Martin Luther King Day as a way to express her feelings.
“Today is Martin Luther King’s birthday, and I can’t help but ask the question: Is it time that people of color recognize how much power, influence, that we have amassed, that we no longer need to ask to be invited anywhere?” she said.
Whereas, on Instagram Spike Lee wrote, “We cannot support it and I mean no disrespect…But, how is it possible for the second consecutive year all 20 contenders under the acting category are white? And let’s not even get into the other branches.”
Lee went on to write that the “real battle over racism in Hollywood is not with the Academy Awards but in “the executive offices of the Hollywood studios and TV and cable networks, where gatekeepers decide which projects get made and which don’t.”
“People, the truth is we ain’t in those rooms, and until minorities are, the Oscar nominees will remain white,” he added.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has faced years of criticism that its 7,000-plus members who vote on the Oscars are made up of a panel of mostly older, white males who are out of touch with today’s moviegoers.
However, this is the second year in the row that the Oscars have drawn major criticism after an all-white slate of major nominees were announced last Thursday.
#OscarsSoWhite even trended upon social media last week after a many various black Oscar hopefuls, including “Beasts of No Nation’s” Idris Elba; “Creed” star Michael B. Jordan; that movie’s writer-director, Ryan Coogler; and the cast of N.W.A biopic “Straight Outta Compton” were all overlooked by the academy.