The 2016 Oscar nominations were announced on January 14 and were met with immediate backlash. For the second straight year, there was a very noticeable lack of nominations for black artists — leading to the revival of #OscarsSoWhite. Director Spike Lee and actress Jada Pinkett Smith took to social media to voice their outrage, concerns and announce their boycotts of the award show.
At the Oscars...people of color are always welcomed to give out awards...even entertain, (pt. 1)— Jada Pinkett Smith (@jadapsmith) January 16, 2016
But we are rarely recognized for our artistic accomplishments. Should people of color refrain from participating all together? (pt 2)— Jada Pinkett Smith (@jadapsmith) January 16, 2016
#OscarsSoWhite... Again. 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!! It's No Coincidence I'm Writing This As We Celebrate The 30th Anniversary Of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's Birthday. Dr. King Said "There Comes A Time When One Must Take A Position That Is Neither Safe, Nor Politic, Nor Popular But He Must Take It Because Conscience Tells Him It's Right". For Too Many Years When The Oscars Nominations Are Revealed, My Office Phone Rings Off The Hook With The Media Asking Me My Opinion About The Lack Of African-Americans And This Year Was No Different. For Once, (Maybe) I Would Like The Media To Ask All The White Nominees And Studio Heads How They Feel About Another All White Ballot. If Someone Has Addressed This And I Missed It Then I Stand Mistaken. 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. This Is What's Important. The Gate Keepers. Those With "The Green Light" Vote. As The Great Actor Leslie Odom Jr. Sings And Dances In The Game Changing Broadway Musical HAMILTON, "I WANNA BE IN THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENS". People, The Truth Is We Ain't In Those Rooms And Until Minorities Are, The Oscar Nominees Will Remain Lilly White. (Cont'd)
Pinkett — whose husband, Will Smith, was a popular Best Actor nomination choice for his performance in Concussion — uploaded a video to Facebook further addressing her opinion on the lack of diversity.
But not everyone was on the same page. Janet Hubert, known for her role as the original Aunt Viv on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, sent a message "To the Smiths." The actress, who's had a well-publicized feud with Will, called out the Smiths for not only asking - as she says - other black actors and actresses to jeopardize their careers, but for having made their living and millions of dollars from the very people they wish to boycott.
To the Smiths!Posted by Janet Hubert on Monday, January 18, 2016
Whatever your feelings are on the issue... The massive outrage has led Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs to voice her heartbreak and frustration, stating: "It’s time for big changes." (via Deadline)