The #OscarsSoWhite hashtag is heating up on Twitter and Instagram once again. Now, more famous faces are joining the #OscarsSoWhite campaign. As reported by TMZ, the famous actor, writer, and director Spike Lee posted on Instagram about the Oscars being so white once more. Jada posted a Facebook video urging blacks to pool monies together to create African-American programming that doesn’t beg the Oscars for acknowledgment.
On Instagram, the Official Spike Lee account started off his #OscarsSoWhite rant with the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag, which has 2,677 posts tagged with that label as of this writing on the social media network.
Lee began his post about the 2016 Oscars by thanking Cheryl Boone Isaac, the first African-America Academy president, for awarding Spike with an honorary Oscar the previous November. Despite the honor, Lee wrote that Spike and his wife would not attend the Oscar ceremony in February.
“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!!”
Spike went on to note that he was crafting his Instagram post on the 30th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. Lee noted that Dr. King urged folks to take a stand even if it’s not a popular stand.
“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.'”
Lee admitted that for plenty of years, his phone would ring off the hook after the Oscar nominations were announced, and the media would want his opinion about the dearth of blacks featured. Instead of asking Lee his opinion, Spike wondered when the day would come that the media would ask the white Oscar nominees and the heads of Hollywood studios their opinions about an all-white Oscar ballot once again.
— Jose Luis Rodriguez (@josenewyorkcity) January 18, 2016
While Boone Isaac called all-white choices for the Oscars disappointing, she urged viewers to stick with them as changes are hopefully forthcoming. The #OscarsSoWhite controversy has also gained plenty of buzz on Twitter, as Jada Pinkett-Smith launched a boycott as well. On Twitter, the official Jada Pinkett Smith account wrote of blacks being asked to host or entertain but not honored as often with the Oscars that they deserve.
“At the Oscars…people of color are always welcomed to give out awards…even entertain, (pt. 1)”
“But we are rarely recognized for our artistic accomplishments. Should people of color refrain from participating all together? (pt 2)”
“People can only treat us in the way in which we allow. With much respect in the midst of deep disappointment. J (pt 3)”
Spike summed up the fact that the real battle isn’t with the Academy Awards but in the executive offices of studios and cable TV network in Hollywood. The gatekeepers decide what gets made and green-lit and what gets chucked.
Meanwhile, writers like April Reign at Broadway Black posted her upcoming interview information on Twitter at ReignOfApril. April noted on the Today show that there would be alternative programming for people who won’t watch the Oscars.
The #OscarsSoWhite controversy isn’t new. The above photo from Thursday, January 15, 2015, shows the Academy Awards nominees for the 87th Academy Awards nomination ceremony. With all 20 actors being white, the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite began trending on Twitter last year as well as this year.
[Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP, File]