Matthew Kim, Entertainment Writer
The Oscars have had a few cases in which they were accused of commercialism and bias. In 2015, it was shown that almost all the nominees in the Oscars were Caucasian, which raised accusations of racism. The same problem arose in the 2016 Oscars when it was shown that ALL the nominees were Caucasian and featured no people of colour. This of course made a lot of people angry on top of the fact that it already occurred in the past.
When British actress and first-time Academy Award nominee Charlotte Rampling was being interviewed on the radio last Friday about the protest of the absence of ethnic actors and directors within the nominees, Rampling replied that it the protests are actually racist towards white people. When she was asked for more details on what she just said, she replied with this,
“One can never really know, perhaps sometimes black actors have not earned a place in the final running”
Of course, this sent a wave of even more protest over the lack of minorities among the major nominees. This brought up the #OscarsSoWhite social media hashtag again from the 2015 Oscars. With this, celebrities supporting the Oscars boycott decided that, as an act of protest, they will not be attending the Oscars ceremony. Some have even already posted videos and tweets regarding this subject. The Academy Awards’ host for this year’s celebration is comedian Chris Rock, who is a person of colour. Many boycotting the event have reached out to Rock to back out of the highly televised awards show.
“At the Oscars… people of color are always welcomed to give out awards… even entertain.” Jada Pinkett Smith tweeted.
Jada Pinkett Smith was the first to tweet about boycotting the Oscars. She also helped her husband, Will Smith, make the decision to officially support the boycott. They were both invited to attend the Oscars ceremony.
“This is about children that are going to sit down and watch this show and they’re not going to see themselves represented” Will Smith announced on ABC News regarding the boycott.
“How is it possible for the 2nd consecutive year all 20 contenders under the actor category are white?” Spike Lee wrote.
This quote was in the letter that Lee wrote to the Oscars asking how the Oscars came around with yet “another all white ballot”. Although Lee thanked them for the honorary Oscar he received last November, he further elaborated within the subject, saying that “the Academy Awards is not where the ‘real’ battle is” and “it’s no coincidence that [he] is writing this as [they] celebrate the 30th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday”.
The Oscars are soon coming and at this point, it seems like if no change happens, not many people are going to enjoy the beloved Academy Awards. Hopefully this will start a dialogue that the Oscars will be more inclusive and diverse in its nominees.
The 88th annual Academy Awards are set to be televised on Sunday, February 26th, 2016 at the Dolby Theatre Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.