Jada Pinkett Smith Boycotts Oscars For Lack Of Diversity
“We are rarely recognized for our artistic accomplishments.”
01/17/2016 03:17 pm ET | Updated 1 hour ago
Entertainment Writer, The Huffington Post
UPDATE: Jada Pinkett Smith has announced that she will not be attending or watching the 2016 Academy Awards.
In a video posted to Facebook Monday morning, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the actress posed some powerful, thoughtful questions.
“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?” she said in the video. “Maybe it’s time that we recognize that if we love and respect and acknowledge ourselves in the way in which we are asking others to do, that that is the place of true power.”
Pinkett Smith called for change, saying that “it’s our responsibility now” to make the difference.
“Begging for acknowledgement, or even asking, diminishes dignity and diminishes power. And we are a dignified people and we are powerful,” she said. “Let’s do us, differently.”
Pinkett Smith isn’t alone in her thinking. Following the nomination announcement last week, Rev. Al Sharpton slammed the Academy for overlooking black actors.
“Yet again, deserving black actors and directors were ignored by the Academy — which reinforces the fact that there are few, if any, blacks with real power in Hollywood,” he said in a statement provided by the National Action Network. “Being left out of awards consideration is about more than just recognition for a job well-done; winning an Oscar has long-lasting cultural and economic impacts.”
This year, out of the 20 people nominated in the acting categories at the Oscars none are people of color. None.
Furthermore, in the nominated films that include non-white cast members, only white contributors have been recognized with nominations. One key exception is Alejandro González Iñárritu, who’s up for Best Director for “The Revenant.
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs also spoke to the issue, saying, “Of course I am disappointed. But this is not to take away the greatness [of the films nominated]. This has been a great year in film, it really has across the board.”
But she also noted that the Academy’s efforts at embracing diversity are moving too slowly.
“You are never going to know what is going to appear on the sheet of paper until you see it,” she said. “We have got to speed it up.”
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Jada Pinkett Smith debates boycotting the Oscars over only white actors being nominated