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#OscarsSoWhite: American-African Actors Jada Pinkett Smith & Spike Lee Boycott Oscars 2016

Written by: Chaitra
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Addressing the issue of lack of diversity which has been prevalent in Hollywood and Oscars for a long time, Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee announced that they would boycott the 2016 Oscars. They would neither attend it, nor watch it.

The 88th annual Academy Awards nominations were announced recently, and it has yet again disappointed people with it's all white nods. No actor of color has been chosen under the acting category.

#OscarsSoWhite: American-African Actors Jada Pinkett Smith & Spike Lee Boycott Oscars 2016

On the occasion of the civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, actor Will Smith's wife Jada Pinkett Smith took to Facebook to post a video addressing her disappointment with regard to the issue.

In the video she said, 'Is it time that people of colour recognize how much power, influence that we have amassed, that we no longer need to ask to be invited anywhere,'

The celebrity went on to say, 'Begging for acknowledgment, or even asking, diminishes dignity and diminishes power, and we are dignified people and we are powerful.'

Will Smith, was considered an Oscar contender for his role in 'Concussion' but was not nominated. All the 20 nominees are unfortunately are white!

#OscarsSoWhite: American-African Actors Jada Pinkett Smith & Spike Lee Boycott Oscars 2016

The other known face who addressed the issue of lack of diversity in Oscars was the director and actor Spike Lee, who has previously spoken about it, too.

On January 18, 2016, Spike Lee took to Instagram announce that he will boycott the Academy Awards this year. His post read,

'We cannot support it and [I] mean no disrespect ... But, how is it possible for the second consecutive year all 20 contenders under the acting category are white? And let's not even get into the other branches,'

He continued, 'Forty white actors in two years and no flava at all. We can't act?! WTF!!'

#OscarsSoWhite: American-African Actors Jada Pinkett Smith & Spike Lee Boycott Oscars 2016

Upon hearing the news about Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee not attending the Oscars this year, the president of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Cheryl Boone Isaacs said,

'I'd like to acknowledge the wonderful work of this year's nominees. While we celebrate their extraordinary achievements, I am both heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion.'

'This is a difficult but important conversation, and it's time for big changes. The Academy is taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup of our membership'. She continued.

It is surely disappointing to see such discrimination prevail in today's society. Especially, in industries like Hollywood where people of colour have achieved so much!

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