Idris Elba, Ryan Coogler, Creed, Will Smith and Straight Outta Compton were all talked about as possible Oscar nominees, but when the nominations were announced last week, they pretty much all got a whole lot of nothing. Straight Outta Compton was nominated for Best Original Screenplay and Sylvester Stallone got Creed’s only nomination. Johnny Depp probably wasn’t nominated for Black Mass because the word “black” is in the title of his movie. It’s the second year in a row when people of color were shut out of the acting categories. Straight Outta Compton’s executive producer shit on the Oscars’ lack of diversity on Facebook, and over the weekend, Jada Pinkett Smith joined him in speaking out against the show. Even the host of this year’s Oscars, Chris Rock, called it the “White BETs.”
On Saturday, Jada tweeted about how people of color are asked to perform at and show up to the Oscars but aren’t recognized with nominations. Jada wondered if they should boycott the Oscars? And yesterday, Jada answered her own question and said in a video on Facebook that she’s not going to or watching the Oscars this year. Jada said that POC have so much power now and need to realize that. Jada knows the Academy can nominate whoever they want, but maybe it’s time for POC to pull out of that shit and “make programs for ourselves that acknowledge us in ways that we see fit, that are just as good as the so-called mainstream.”
Spike Lee co-signed Jada’s words on Instagram yesterday. Spike Lee isn’t going to the Oscars this year either. He doesn’t totally blame the Academy. He wrote that the real battle is with the studio executives of Hollywood who make the decisions.
If Jada Pinkett Smith puts together her own awards show and airs it on the same night as the Oscars, my remote control is going to get the repeated pounding of its life. I’m going to furiously switch between Jada’s Oscars and the Oscar Oscars. Because I really want to see Jaden Smith’s interpretive dance performances of the best picture nominees and I really, really want to see Chris Rock roast Hollywood and the Oscars.