Jada Pinkett-Smith, Spike Lee to boycott the Oscar Awards

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jada-pinkett-smith.jpgProminent celebrities are now taking a stand against 2016's #OscarsSoWhite. This year, out of the 20 people nominated in the acting categories at the Oscars none are people of color. None. Furthermore, in the nominated films that include non-white cast members, only white contributors have been recognized with nominations.

Jada Pinkett Smith announced via Facebook video that she would not be attending nor watching this year's Academy Awards. Spike Lee shared a similar sentiment on Instagram alongside a photo of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This year's ballot is the second consecutive set of Oscar nominees that feature no actors of colour.


Jada expressed her dismay on the awards' lack of diversity. The "Magic Mike XXL" actress, 44, sent out a series of tweets over the weekend.

"At the Oscars ... people of color are always welcomed to give out awards ... even entertain, but we are rarely recognized for our artistic accomplishments," she wrote, adding, "Should people of color refrain from participating all together?"

She continued, "People can only treat us in the way in which we allow. With much respect in the midst of deep disappointment."

In a video posted to Facebook Monday morning, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the actress posed some powerful, thoughtful questions.

"Is it time that people of color recognize how much power, influence, that we have amassed, that we no longer need to ask to be invited anywhere?" she said in the video. "Maybe it's time that we recognize that if we love and respect and acknowledge ourselves in the way in which we are asking others to do, that that is the place of true power."

Pinkett Smith called for change, saying that "it's our responsibility now" to make the difference.

"Begging for acknowledgement, or even asking, diminishes dignity and diminishes power. And we are a dignified people and we are powerful," she said. "Let's do us, differently."

Meanwhile, 58-year-old filmmaker, Spike Lee, explained his decision in a lengthy post hashtagged ?#?OscarsSoWhite?, which was fittingly shared 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,"' the controversial director wrote.

'How is it possible for the 2nd consecutive year all 20 contenders under the actor category are white? And let's not even get into the other branches. 40 white actors in 2 years and no flava at all. We can't act?! WTF!!'

Spike - born Shelton - said he meant no disrespect to this year's ironically black president (Cheryl Boone Isaacs), producer (Reginald Hudlin), and host (Chris Rock).

First, the two-time Emmy winner thanked the Academy for the Honorary Oscar he received at the Governors Awards on November 15.

Lee admitted the 'real battle' is actually taking place in the 'executive office of the Hollywood studios and TV and cable networks.'

'This is where the gate keepers decide what gets made and what gets jettisoned to "turnaround" or scrap heap,' he wrote to his combined 1.4M followers on social media.

The Chi-Raq director then pointed out that it's easier for an African-American to be President of the United States 'than be president of a Hollywood studio.'