“How is it possible that for the second consecutive year all 20 contenders under the actor category are white?”
That’s the question posed by American director and producer Spike Lee on his Instagram account today in response to last week’s Oscar nominations for 2015.
As soon as the nominations were announced, the Twitter handle #OscarsSoWhite began to trend on Twitter, with calls to boycott the event.
In his post, Lee says he can’tsupport the Academy Awards and quotes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., saying it’s no coincidence he’s writing this post on the 30th anniversary of Dr.King’s birthday.
Spike goes on to say that every year the nominations are announced his phone rings off the hook with media wanting to know what he thinks about the lack of American-African nominees, and for once he’d like the media to ask the white nominees what they think.
“I Would Like The Media To Ask All The White Nominees And Studio Heads How They Feel About Another All White Ballot.”
#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)
“We must stand in our power”
Jada Pinkett Smith also posted a video on her Facebook page today, saying she will not be at the awards, and that maybe it’s time that African-American’s “pull back our resources, and we put them back into our communities, into our programs. And we make programs for ourselves that acknowledge us in ways that we see fit.”
Pinkett-Smith says she only knows one thing.
“Begging for acknowledgement or even asking, diminishes dignity, and diminishes power.”