Racial Segregation in Hollywood? #OscarsSoWhite Sees Celebs to Boycott

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The 2016 Academy Awards will be boycotted by prominent black actors and filmmaking professionals as the organization has nominated only white actors this year.

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Film director Spike Lee and actress Jada Pinkett Smith both posted to social media on Monday that they won't attend the Oscars due to a lack of diversity at the ceremony for the second year in a row.

After receiving an honorary Oscar award in November 2015, Lee expected his movie "Chi-Raq" to be nominated, which did not occur. Pinkett Smith's husband, two-time Oscar nominee Will Smith, was also passed over for his lead role in "Concussion."

Last Thursday the list of nominees for the upcoming Academy Awards was revealed, prompting outrage by many in the business for what they claim is unfair judging.

Lee expressed his gratitude to film academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs for last year's trophy, but will not attend the ceremony, according to his Instagram.

"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?" Lee wrote, noting it was a timely question to ask on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. "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!"

#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)

Фото опубликовано Spike Lee (@officialspikelee) Янв 18 2016 в 5:03 PST

The film director called for more diversity in the industry, stressing that it's the responsibility of the Hollywood executive suite to greenlight more different kinds of movies. Lee pointed out in November that black actors tend to play only security guards.

"The Truth Is We Ain't In Those Rooms And Until Minorities Are, The Oscar Nominees Will Remain Lilly White," Lee said.

Smith brought up the topic on Martin Luther King Jr. Day saying: "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?"

We must stand in our power.

Posted by Jada Pinkett Smith on Monday, January 18, 2016

Pinkett Smith posted to Twitter, "At the Oscars…people of color are always welcomed to give out awards…even entertain. But we are rarely recognized for our artistic accomplishments. Should people of color refrain from participating all together? People can only treat us in the way in which we allow. With much respect in the midst of deep disappointment."

Media has been buzzing about the all-white Oscar nominee list, posting messages like, "And the Oscar goes to…a white person!"

The Academy did not immediately respond to Pinkett Smith and Lee's announcements.

Last week, Academy president Isaacs told Deadline she was "disappointed" that films such as "Beasts of No Nation," starring Idris Elba, and hip-hop epic "Straight Outta Compton," were left out.

"This has been a great year in film, it really has across the board. You are never going to know what is going to appear on the sheet of paper until you see it," she said.

Not everyone supports #OscarsSoWhite. Some opponents of the movement lay the blame for being left off the Academy ballot, an organization known to be about 94% white,  as simply being the complaints of those who are bitter and untalented.

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