Jamie Foxx has added his name into the Oscar controversy — sort of. Since the Oscar nominations were read, many stars have spoken up about the lack of diversity in the voting and nomination process for the Academy Awards.
Once the nominations came out, the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite trended for a second year in a row, and it seemed like it wasn’t something that could be ignored, especially after some celebrities like Jada Pinkett-Smith, Spike Lee, Will Smith, and Tyrese Gibson vowed to boycott the awards ceremony.
Now, Jamie Foxx has weighed in on the Oscar controversy. This is somewhat significant, because Foxx is one of the fifteen people of color who have gone on to win the Academy Award for their merits in acting.
That said, Foxx decided to poke a joke at the whole thing instead of making a real statement either for or against the Academy.
— starsppl (@starsppl1) February 22, 2016
In his introduction at the ABFF awards, Foxx said the following.
“All these Oscar talks, I don’t even trip about that. I mean, what’s the big deal? I was sitting at home with my Oscar, like ‘What’s all the hubbub?” My friend said, ‘Are you mad?’ ‘Um, kind of, but not really.’ I started calling Denzel [Washington], and we just Instagrammed our Oscars together.”
To make his point, Foxx said, “#WhatsTheBigDeal?” and “#ActBetter.”
In response to the lack of diversity among the nominees, the president of The Academy, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, issued a statement saying that she was disappointed in the lack of diversity.
“I am both heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion. This is a difficult but important conversation, and it’s time for big changes. The Academy is taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup of our membership.”
Following that statement, the Academy rolled out a whole new plan for their membership, as Isaacs promised. After ten years, every membership goes under review, and if a member hasn’t contributed to the film industry in some way, their membership gets revoked. Also, members are now encouraged to nominate people for a membership, in an effort to be more inclusive to their expanding membership.
Not everyone was happy with this plan of action, but that wasn’t a surprise given how some people were reacting to the controversy in the first place. One person that sticks out is actress and Fox correspondent Stacey Dash, who as an African American. At the time, she said that the community had to decide if they wanted to be included or be exclusive in the way they celebrate each other.
Dash pointed to the BET awards, and Black History Month, as events that exclude everyone else. Most people reacted negatively to her suggestion, and went on to point out that those events were instated to celebrate the talents and contributions of African Americans because there wasn’t many outlets out there, as evidence of the lack of diversity at the Academy Awards.
— 1-800-WOKE-AF (@gloed_up) January 14, 2016
As for Jamie Foxx, while he was all smiles during the ABFF awards, Foxx didn’t seem to be impressed with former collaborator Quentin Tarantino’s use of the word “ghetto” at the Golden Globes. During Tarantino’s acceptance speech on behalf of Ennio Morricone’s win for The Hateful Eight, Tarantino used the word ghetto to describe a less than quality of a sub genre of composing.
“When I say favorite composer, I don’t mean movie composer — that ghetto.”
Foxx took to the stage, looking clearly confused and in disbelief as he uttered the word usage by Tarantino into the mic, before introducing his daughter Corrine as Ms. Golden Globe.
[Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for LACMA]