The Academy Awards, or “Oscars”, is an annual American awards ceremony honoring cinematic achievements in the film industry. Each year viewers from across the world tune in as some of their favorite actors, actresses, and many other celebrity guest strut the red carpet in their famous designer apparel and receive awards for their outstanding performances in the latest released films. As the 88th Academy Awards swiftly approaches, the list of this year’s nominees has caused many to question, “Are the Oscars Too White?” due to its lack of diversity. It has recently been the trending topic on nearly all social media outlets, evening having its own hashtag handle on Twitter, (#OscarsSoWhite). This alone has caused A list celebrities and even presidential nominee Donald Trump to voice their opinion.
In a video posted on Facebook, Jada Pinkett Smith stated that she would not be attending the Oscars or watching it on TV due to the lack of diversity and no one of color being nominated in a major category for the second year in a row. “We must stand in our power,” she stated. Within 8 hours, this video had been viewed 3 million times. Actor and Director Spike Lee agreed with Smith also saying that he would not be attending this year’s ceremony. After Smith’s suggestion of boycotting the Oscars, Lee believed boycotting the Oscars wouldn’t work and would be a slap in the face to this year’s host Chris Rock.
Although many agree with both Smith and Lee, some did not. Janet Hubert, former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star, responded to Jada Pinkett Smith in a video message saying, “Maybe Will (Pinkett Smith’s husband) didn’t deserve a Golden Globe nomination. Y’all need to get over yourselves. You are a part of Hollywood. You are a part of the system that is unfair to other actors.” After being asked about the Academy Awards in an interview on Fox & Friends, actress and Fox News contributor Stacy Dash went on to say, “Either we want to have segregation or integration. If we don’t want segregation, then we need to get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards and the Image Awards, where you’re only awarded if you’re black. If it were the other way around, we (African Americans) would be up in arms. It’s a double standard.” Presidential nominee Donald Trump later agreed with Dash.
The Oscars will be live February 28, 2016 on ABC at 7e| 4p.