Quincy Jones is speaking out about the Academy Awards, and what he plans to do if the Academy doesn’t let him speak about their diversity problem at the actual ceremony. While many people are up for boycotting, like Snoop Dogg, Jada Pinkett Smith, Spike Lee, and Tyrese Gibson, Quincy Jones shares a similar opinion as previous Oscars host Whoopi Goldberg.
According to Quincy Jones, it isn’t worth boycotting the Oscars due to their diversity issues. “There are two ways to do it. You can boycott or you can fix it. It’s frightening to see 90 percent white and 80 percent white male.”
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) January 20, 2016
Jones hopes that he can fix it by appearing on stage during the ceremony to talk about the crises at hand. That said, if the Academy doesn’t want Jones to speak on stage about the elephant in the room, then he’s not showing up. Not exactly a boycott of the Oscars, but he’s definitely prepared to take a stand.
“They called me to go present with Pharrell and Common. When I’m back [in LA], I’m going to ask [them] to let me speak for five minutes on the lack of diversity. If not, I’m not going to [present].”
Jones went on to highlight his long history with the Academy and how significant it is given the lack of Black nominees in the performance categories, “I’ve been involved with Academy longer than I care to remember. I was the first black board member. I hate ‘first black,’ because that means only.”
Back in 1971, the Academy Awards named Quincy Jones the musical director and conductor of the ceremony during that year, and in 1995 he was the very first African American to collect the Academy’s prestigious award, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, which has gone to Angelina Jolie, Harry Belafonte, Paul Newman, Charlton Heston, and Audrey Hepburn, just to name a few.
— YourDailyDish (@Your_Daily_Dish) January 20, 2016
As the Inquisitr reported, Whoopi Goldberg got into a heated debate on The View about the boycott.
Goldberg said that it’s not enough to have this conversation once out of the year, and that the boycott will not be an effective way to make a difference. Goldberg also said that it would be a “slap in the face” to host Chris Rock, who is currently receiving pressure to step down as host of the show.
“Boycotting doesn’t work, and it’s also a slap in the face to Chris Rock. Chris Rock is the host of the Academy Awards and to boycott him seems just as bad as what everybody is saying. To me, we have this conversation every year. It pisses me off.”
Although #OscarsSoWhite started to trend for the second year in a row, the conversation really took off when Jada Pinkett Smith released a video boycotting the Oscars. It got attention because it was on the heels of her husband Will Smith’s lack of nomination for Best Actor, despite earning nominations for a few big award shows prior to the Oscars.
In the video, Pinkett-Smith said, “Begging for acknowledgement, or even asking, diminishes dignity and diminishes power. And we are a dignified people, and we are powerful. So let’s let the Academy do them, with all grace and love. And let’s do us, differently.”
In addition to Will Smith, Michael B. Jordan and Idris Elba were also snubbed by the Academy, as well as director Ryan Coogler, whose film Creed earned Sylvester Stallone a nomination.
[Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Vanity Fair]