Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith to boycott Oscars
UPI News Service, 01/18/2016
Filmmaker Spike Lee and actress Jada Pinkett Smith have both vowed to boycott this year's Academy Awards after black actors and filmmakers were snubbed in nominations.
"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?" Pinkett Smith asked in a video posted to her Facebook page Monday. "The Academy has the right to acknowledge whomever they choose, to invite whomever they choose, and now I think that it's our responsibility now to make the change."
She went on to say she would not attend nor watch the Academy Awards, but extended best wishes to this year's host, Chris Rock. Rock has already acknowledged the dearth of black nominees, calling the Oscars "the white BET awards."
Lee announced his decision to boycott on Instagram. Monday morning, he posted a photo of Martin Luther King Jr. in graduation robes coupled with a lengthy condemnation of the Academy.
"It's no coincidence I'm writing this as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's birthday," Lee wrote. "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.'"
Lee's 2015 film "Chiraq" received no nominations. Pinkett Smith was similarly passed over for her role in "Magic Mike XXL." Smith's husband -- who starred in the film "Concussion" -- was also overlooked. This year marks the second consecutive year with no nominations for black actors or filmmakers.
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