#OscarsSoWhite Sparks Boycotts From Jada Pinkett Smith And Director Spike Lee
Neither will be attending the Academy Awards.
In the midst of 2016's #OscarsSoWhite backlash, Jada Pinkett Smith and director Spike Lee have both announced they will not be attending this year's Academy Awards.
With this being the second year in a row that none of the top acting categories have included a person of colour, a number of influential people of Hollywood are taking a stand.
Posting a video to Facebook earlier this week, on Martin Luther King's birthday no less, Jada discussed the importance of realising the power people of colour have amassed.
"Today is Martin Luther King’s birthday. And I can’t help but ask the question: Is it time that people of color recognize how much power and influence that we have amassed, that we no longer need to ask to be invited anywhere?
"Here’s what I believe," she continued. "The Academy has the right to acknowledge whomever they choose, to invite whomever they choose. And now I think that it’s our responsibility to make the change. Maybe it is time that we 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, that are just as good as the so-called mainstream ones."
"Begging for acknowledgement or even asking diminishes dignity and diminishes power," she said. "We are a dignified people and we are powerful — let’s not forget it. So let’ let the Academy do them with all grace and love, and let’s do us differently."
While Spike Lee posted a picture of Dr. King on Instagram, as well as announcing he too won't be attending.
The Academy haven't been completely silent on the matter, with Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs addressing the issue last week, telling Deadline:
"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."
Adding: "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."