On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, both Jada Pinkett Smith and
director Spike Lee announced that they would not attend this year’s ceremony. The
news comes just days after Smith suggested that people of color should “refrain
from participating all together.”
"I will not be at the Academy Awards and I won't be
watching," Smith said in a new video posted to Facebook. Her husband, Will
Smith, was thought to be a contender at this year's Oscars for his role in Concussion, but was snubbed by the
"The Academy has the right to acknowledge whomever they
chose and invite whomever they choose," the 44-year-old actress added. "Begging
for acknowledgement or even asking [for it] diminishes dignity."
In a separate Instagram post, Lee also slammed the Academy
for its lack of diversity. "How is it
possible for the 2nd consecutive year all 20 contenders under the actor
category are white?" the director wrote. "And let’s not even get into the other
branches. Forty white actors in two two years and no flava at all. We can't
"We cannot support
it," he wrote.
This is not the
first time Lee has admonished the Academy. In November 2015, when he accepted
his honorary Oscar at the Governors Awards, the director said Hollywood
was “so behind sports” in terms of diversity.
"It's easier to be the president of the United States
as a black person than be the head of a studio," Lee said. "Honestly,
it's easier to be president of the United States than the head of a studio or
head of network."
The debate about the Oscars was a hot topic at the Critics’
Choice Awards, where stars reacted to Smith’s proposed boycott.
"I don't know if avoiding it altogether is going to help,
but I just think we have to continue to move forward," Niecy Nash told ET. "We
have this awareness and this spotlight -- we've got to look at other work.
There’s other work out there that I think was missed. We’ve just got to do
She wasn't the only one who had an opinion on the matter;
find out what Gina Rodriguez, Tracee Ellis Ross and others had to say: