The massive white nominations for the upcoming Academy Awards has raised a lot of eyebrows among the blacks. Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith, who have gone ahead to opt out of the Oscars, are obviously not excluded in this.
Black entertainers in the movie industry do not find it funny at all that majority of the nominations for the Oscars are always whites. This issue was what led to the revival of the Twitter feed #OscarsSoWhite that emerged in 2015. For the second time, all 20 nominees under the actor category are all whites. This however motivated the announcement made by two high-profile black celebrities; director Spike Lee, and actress Jada Pinkett Smith, that they wont be attending the Oscars coming up on February 28. The two made this declaration on Monday, which was the national holiday commemorating civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
The head of Oscars Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who is African American, expressed her dissatisfaction with the way things had turned out. According to her, the academy had made changes in the past years to change the all-white nominations but the implementations are not coming fast enough. She continued, explaining that steps would be taken in the coming weeks to avert the situation for this year’s awards and subsequent ones to come.
Pinkett Smith, in a statement she released on Monday, said It was about time people of colour stopped begging for recognition, and that they should acknowledge and embrace the resources and influence they have, because that is the place of true power. She added that the academy has a right to choose whomever it deems fit, but that she believes it is time people of colour break away from the mainstream awards system. See Video:
The video was released as people used the social media hash-tag #OscarsSoWhite to vent their anger over the white dominated nominations in the 2016 awards.
The Director of Do the Right Thing and 2015’s Chi-Raq, Spike Lee also declared his decision to boycott the Oscars on social media with the same reasons detailed by Pinkett Smith. Spike Lee also frowned at the fact that for two consecutive years it has been an all-white nomination in the actor category. He added that it was really surprising that unlike Hollywood, Sports and Music had long let go of racism.
Ironical enough, comedian Chris Rock is said to be scheduled to host the upcoming awards, which leaves everyone anxious and wondering as regards to how he would handle it bearing in mind the whole drama which has been going on. We hope Lee and Pinkett’s still got love for their brother even as they announced their exclusion from the upcoming awards.