Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee are boycotting this year’s Academy Award ceremony because of the lack of diversity among Oscar nominees.
The actress said that it was a difficult decision to skip the prestigious film award ceremony, but the lack of non-white nominees was worrying.
On a video posted on Facebook, she said: “Is it time that people of colour recognise how much power, influence, that we have amassed, that we no longer need to ask to be invited anywhere?” She added: “Begging for acknowledgement, or even asking, diminishes dignity and diminishes power – and we are a dignified people, and we are powerful. Let’s not forget it.”
She also added that she will not even be watching the event on television either, but wished Chris Rock good luck in hosting the ceremony. “I can’t think of a better man to do the job at hand this year then you [sic], my friend. Good luck,” she said.
Meanwhile, director Spike Lee has joined Pinkett Smith in boycotting the Oscars by posting on Instagram using the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag. He asked: “How is it possible for the 2nd consecutive year all 20 contenders under the actor category are white?”
“We cannot support it and mean no disrespect to my friends, host Chris Rock and producer Reggie Hudlin, president Isaacs and the Academy [sic],” he said in the post accompanied by a picture of Martin Luther King, Jr., the leader of the African-American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.
The boycotts by the major stars come on the back of the nominee announcements confirming that, for the second consecutive year, only white actors have been nominated for acting Oscars.