I have breaking news to share with you about the Oscars.
The president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, released a statement last night which reads in part, “I’d like to acknowledge the wonderful work of this year’s nominees. While we celebrate their extraordinary achievements, I am both heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion. This is a difficult but important conversation, and it’s time for big changes. The Academy is taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup of our membership. In the coming days and weeks we will conduct a review of our membership recruitment in order to bring about much-needed diversity in our 2016 class and beyond.”
Just in case you’re living under a rock, let me explain what’s going on with this year’s Oscar nominations.
The Oscars are so white you need sunblock to look through the nominees.
The Oscars are so white that Macklemore and Iggy Azalea have been asked to host.
Of course those jokes are all written by someone else on twitter as part of the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag which is trending once again this year.
But what’s really no joke is that despite great roles from great actors in great movies, no actors of color were nominated in any of the major categories.
And when a major black movie was nominated like Straight Outta Compton, the nomination went to their two white writers for best original screenplay.
It is also no joke that the man who is hosting the Oscars this year is a black man, who happens to be a comedian.
“I’m Chris Rock and I’m hosting the Oscars. Much like New Years Eve it’ll be a night that ends with a lot of drunk, disappointed people swearing they’ll do better next year.”
When Chris Rock tweeted out his newest Oscars promo he captioned it “The White BET Awards.”
He’s not the only black Hollywood insider speaking out.
Filmmaker Spike Lee announced on Instagram that he and his wife will not be attending the Oscars this year and asked, “How it is possible for the second consecutive year, all 20 contenders under the actor category are white?”
You might remember Lee received an honorary Oscar back in November and used the occasion to chastise Hollywood about the lack of diversity.
“So we can talk you know yabba yabba yabba, but we need to have some serious discussion about diversity and get some flava up in this. This industry is so behind sports it’s ridiculous. It’s easier to be the president of the United States as a black person than it is to be the head of a studio.”
Now to accomplished actress Jada Pinkett Smith who just so happens to be married to accomplished actor Will Smith who was snubbed this year for his leading role in the movie “Concussion.”
Pinkett Smith posted this video on her Facebook page:
“It’s our responsibility to make the change. Maybe it is time we pull back our resources and we put them back into our communities. Hey Chris, I will not be at the Academy Awards. And I won’t be watching, but I can’t think of a better to do the job at hand this year than you my friend. Good luck.”
Pinkett Smith like Spike Lee won’t be going and won’t be watching because they believe people like Idris Elba for “Beasts of No Nation,” Michael B. Jordan and Ryan Coogler for “Creed,” and the entire acting cast of “Straight Outta Compton” were snubbed.
It’s not quite a boycott but I’m sure the Motion Picture Academy is concerned that it certainly it could turn into one.
My question to you is, should it?