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Celebrities boycott the Oscars over lack of diversity – What are your thoughts on the boycott? Are they in the right?

Jada-Will-Smith

According to Fox News, in a lengthy Instagram post, Lee said he “cannot support” the “lily white” Oscars. Noting that he was writing on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Lee — who in November was given an honorary Oscar at the Governors Awards — said he was fed up: “Forty white actors in two years and no flava at all,” he wrote. “We can’t act?!”

Lee made a point of writing in his post that the Academy Awards is only part of the problem in an industry with deep-rooted diversity issues. In his Governors Awards speech, Lee said “It’s easier to be the president of the United States as a black person than be the head of a studio.”

“The Academy Awards is not where the `real’ battle is,” wrote Lee on Monday. “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.”

In a video message on Facebook, Pinkett Smith, whose husband Will Smith wasn’t nominated for his performance in the NFL head trauma drama “Concussion,” said it was time for people of color to disregard the Academy Awards.

“Begging for acknowledgement, or even asking, diminishes dignity and diminishes power,” she said. “And we are a dignified people and we are powerful.”

She added: “Let’s let the academy do them, with all grace and love. And let’s do us differently.” The video had amassed 4.5 million by mid-Monday afternoon.

But “Boyz ‘N the Hood” director John Singleton, the first African-American director nominated for an Oscar, disagreed.

What are your thoughts on the boycott? Are they in the right? 

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10 comments

  1. I think her timing was bad and she should’ve had the forethought to know it might nullify her complaints lol…I’ve seen her & Will on the red carpet of many a “lily white” award show. Seems convenient that, now that Will is doing seemingly-nod-worthy work more often, she’s suddenly so bothered that she can’t attend.
    but that said, no denying something’s gotta give with these award shows. not saying they purposely exclude people of color, but more so that they blindly support films that are more familiar for them. it’s time to expand their sight.

  2. Nowadays it seems that everything done has someone up in arms and that they are justified by what they say. Unlike the 1940’s-90’s where not much was said, why? The lack of social media and the silent masses were kept silent and complaints and grumblings were kept underground. These days you have the world’s attention through a multi facet of social networks, especially if you are a celebrity and know how to use or “manipulate” it depending on who you ask and what they say and think. With the click of a button you can have a million people watching you, loving or hating what you say. I forget who said it but someone once said, “Any publicity is good publicity even if it’s bad.” So in regards to black celebrities boycotting on what Spike Lee calls “Lilly White”…. is he being racist in his response to what he thinks is racist because there is no “ethnicity” in the Oscars this year? Touche Spike, touche. A double edged sword here it would seem and since life doesn’t have a rewind and re-record button we are at an impasse now. Adding more actors that are not white to the Oscars after the judges have made their choices will come across as an insult to many and a “shut up” to others. So, what’s it going to be? Which end of the sword do we want to grab first?

  3. I think that she has the right to her own opinion but, yes here comes the but….boycotting the Oscar’s is a bit much. Okay, they screwed up however, the actors should get together on one accord with the appropriate representation and meet with the Academy to have the appropriate discussion and let both sides be thoroughly heard and then a resolution.

  4. Is there a lack of diversity in the Oscars? Yes. But the Oscars are not the problem. The problem is a lack of diverse casting in Hollywood the last few years. Lots of people at the top assume that only caucasian actors sell, so they don’t cast people of color in a lot of movies, especially the types that win awards. So of course when the awards come around, there isn’t going to be much diversity in the selection. The Oscars are not the problem. They are just a symptom of the problem. Here is my take on it. I am a white male, and I am offended that people who run the film industry think I can only relate to someone who has the same color skin as me, so I would love to see more diverse casting in films.

  5. I totally agree with this! I hate Hollywood Stereotypes. I mean look at Holly berry’s Oscar, after all the roles she played she basially got it for fucking a white man in a film, and Denzel’s is just as bad he had so many great roles and won his for playing a criminal. Diversity in Hollywood is not diversity and they need to get it together if they want to connect with people in the real world.

  6. It’s unfortunate that when trying to make a point, others try to pick apart their past and motives. I do think, as a mom of four non-white children, it would be great to see a better representation of the American population in film and awards. my 9 year old daughter notices when commercials, films, print and shows are predominately white. She asks me why there’s just white people and what do I say? there is no good answer… Limited roles also plays a part in what is offered to people of color. There is no way anyone can be taken seriously or given a chance when its always a joke of a role or a lesser quality role….

  7. As a person who made my living in Hollywood for awhile, I must disagree. Though I’m a half-breed you don’t hear me complaining about not ever having a chance to be nominated for all the strictly Black and Latino awards out there these days. And those awards specifically keep other races out.

  8. Socially there has been change here but it has been slow and the Academy simply reflects what is going on in society. I can actually remember when Native Americans were portrayed by Italians in film and have seen old films with whites in blackface. Does there need to be greater change? Yes and I commend both Pinkett-Smith and Lee for their stance but hope they extend into other aspects of societal change. I feel a little sorry for Chris Rock, a black man who is to emcee the whole affair. Does this put him in a bind?

  9. Opinions are like buttholes- everyone has one. Nothing surprises me anymore. Boycotts, petitions, interviews with drug lords, documentaries …. Smh …..some always want to make it about race and the color of skin

  10. I think the outcome will be that next year there will be FORCED diversity which will create doubt as to the validity of the nominations and the eventual winner.
    I would hope that Will Smith or any actor would say, “I don’t want to win it that way.”

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