Calls For Boycott of Oscars Grow Over Diversity of Nominees

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“Amid calls for a boycott of the Academy Awards over its all-white acting nominees and Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith both announcing they would sit out this year’s ceremony, the academy’s president said it was time for major changes — and soon,” abcnews reported.

In a video message on Facebook, Pinkett Smith also said she wouldn’t attend or watch the Oscars in February. Pinkett Smith, whose husband Will Smith wasn’t nominated for his performance in the NFL head trauma drama “Concussion,” said it was time for people of color to disregard the Academy Awards, according to abcnews.

For the academy, cultural relevance is more than a perception issue, it’s a business one. The bulk of the organization’s budget comes from sales of the TV rights to the telecast, and if a sizable amount of the audience sits the show out, the effects could be lasting, according to latimes.

But perhaps the starkest gap between talent and nominations is among black actors and producers. Just like MTV had trouble playing the hottest artists of the time, the academy can’t even recognize black people for making movies about black people, latimes stated.

“If the academy is not going to reflect who we really are and is not interested in celebrating the artistic array of this world, in terms of ethnicity,” Dunn said, “we are right to turn off our televisions and not engage in all the hype of the Academy Awards.”