Jada Pinkett Smith is an incredibly talented actress. However, she also has a beef with Hollywood – the under-representation of African Americans at the Oscars. Entertainment Weekly reports that Pinkett Smith took to Facebook and Twitter to express her disappointment at the nominations.
“At the Oscars… people of color are always welcomed to give out awards… even entertain, but we are rarely recognized for our artistic accomplishments. Should people of color refrain from participating all together? People can only treat us in the way in which we allow. With much respect in the midst of deep disappointment, J.”
Jada Pinkett Smith’s husband Will Smith was snubbed for an Oscar nomination for his role in the movie Concussion. But the issue goes beyond just Smith’s snub. Despite the fact that the host of the 2016 Oscars is Chris Rock, this is the second year in a row that all 20 nominations in the main categories have gone strictly to white people.
According to People, director Spike Lee is on board with Jada Pinkett Smith, tweeting a long open message stating that he and his wife will not be attending the Oscars.
Lee’s decision to not attend the Oscars comes after he had been awarded an honorary Oscar in November. Lee spoke about how it’s no coincidence his post was made on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
“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.’ For too many years when the Oscars nominations are revealed, my office phone rings off the hook with the media asking me my opinion about the lack of African-Americans and this year was no different.”
— CNN (@CNN) January 18, 2016
Jada Pinkett Smith is also in good company with Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. According to Deadline, even Isaacs is disappointed by the lack of African American representation at this year’s Oscars.
“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. You are never going to know what is going to appear on the sheet of paper until you see it. We have got to speed [the Academy’s efforts at diversity] up.”
Cheryl Boone Isaacs later released an official statement on the issue.
— Karen Civil (@KarenCivil) January 19, 2016
— Aaron L. Morrison (@aaronlmorrison) January 19, 2016
Cosmopolitan reports that Jada Pinkett Smith did not receive a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role in the movie, Magic Mike XXL, but then again, this is not the type of movie that usually receives nominations. Eliza Thompson, writing for Cosmopolitan, praises Pinkett Smith’s performance in the movie.
“Jada almost singlehandedly elevates XXL from a silly road-trip stripper comedy to a movie about how important it is to pay attention to what women want. Every time she’s on-screen, she leaves you wanting more — no easy feat for any actress in a film most people went to see because it involved Channing Tatum in a thong.”
— See You In Five (@seeyouinfive) January 14, 2016
Not only is Jada Pinkett Smith busy these days filming her own projects and acting in the hit television series Gotham, she is to be represented in All Eyez on Me, the biopic about rapper Tupac Shakur. Pinkett Smith won’t play herself. Instead, Entertainment Weekly reports that the role of Jada Pinkett Smith will be played by Kat Graham.
It will be interesting to see how many people follow the example of Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee when it comes to attending the Oscars. It will be especially interesting to see if Will Smith attends without the lovely Jada Pinkett Smith on his arm. Fans will find out on February 28!
[Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images]