1. It didn’t take long this year for everyone to realize that the Oscar nominees were overwhelmingly white.
3. Here’s who’s spoken up so far.
4. Lupita Nyong’o took to her Instagram to express disappointment with this year’s nominations and solidarity with those fighting for representation.
“I am disappointed by the lack of inclusion in this year’s Academy Awards nominations. It has me thinking about unconscious prejudice and what merits prestige in our culture. The Awards should not dictate the terms of art in our modern society, but rather be a diverse reflection of the best of what our art has to offer today. I stand with my peers who are calling for change in expanding the stories that are told and recognition of the people who tell them.”
5. George Clooney’s comments were published as a short op-ed in Variety.
“I think that African Americans have a real fair point that the industry isn’t representing them well enough,” Clooney told Variety. “I think that’s absolutely true. … There were nominations left off the table. There were four films this year: Creed could have gotten nominations; Concussion could have gotten Will Smith a nomination; Idris Elba could have been nominated for Beasts of No Nation; and Straight Outta Compton could have been nominated. And certainly last year, with Selma director Ava DuVernay — I think that it’s just ridiculous not to nominate her. But honestly, there should be more opportunity than that. There should be 20 or 30 or 40 films of the quality that people would consider for the Oscars.”
6. Jada Pinkett-Smith posed a number of questions in a Facebook video addressing her plans to neither attend nor watch the Oscars.
“I can’t help but ask the question: Is it time that people of color acknowledge the amount of power and influence we have amassed? That we no longer have to be invited anywhere? I ask the question: Have we not come to a new time and place where we recognize that we can no longer beg for love, acknowledgement, or respect of any group?
…Here’s what I do know: Begging for acknowledgement, or even asking, diminishes dignity, and diminishes power. And we are a dignified people, and we are powerful. And let’s not forget it. So let’s let the Academy do them, with all grace and love. And let’s do us differently. … Hey, Chris [Rock]: I will not be at the Academy Awards this year, and I will not be watching. But I can’t think of a better man to do the job at hand this year than you, my friend.”
7. Snoop Dogg posted an Instagram video cussing out the whole situation.
“Somebody asked me whether I’m gonna watch the motherfucking Oscars. Fuck no! The fuck I’m gonna watch that bullshit for? They don’t got no niggas nominated. All these great movies and all this great shit you keep stealing from us. Fuck you! FUCK YOU!”
8. Spike Lee posted an essay on Instagram announcing his plans to skip the Oscars due to the lack of diversity in the nominations. He also quoted Hamilton.
“We Cannot Support It And Mean No Disrespect To My Friends, Host Chris Rock and Producer Reggie Hudlin, President Isaacs And The Academy. But, 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!!
….As I See It, The Academy Awards Is Not Where The “Real” Battle Is. It’s 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. This Is What’s Important. The Gate Keepers. Those With “The Green Light” Vote. As The Great Actor Leslie Odom Jr. Sings And Dances In The Game Changing Broadway Musical HAMILTON, “I WANNA BE IN THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENS”. People, The Truth Is We Ain’t In Those Rooms And Until Minorities Are, The Oscar Nominees Will Remain Lilly White. “
11. David Oyelowo tied last year’s notable snubs in with this year’s lost opportunities in a speech at the King Legacy Awards.
“The Academy has a problem. It’s a problem that needs to be solved. …For 20 opportunities to celebrate actors of color, actresses of color, to be missed last year is one thing; for that to happen again this year is unforgivable.…The reason why the Oscars are so important is because it is the zenith, it is the epitome, it is the height of celebration of artistic endeavor within the filmmaking community. We grow up aspiring, dreaming, longing to be accepted into that august establishment because it is the height of excellence. I would like to walk away and say it doesn’t matter, but it does, because that acknowledgement changes the trajectory of your life, your career, and the culture of the world we live in. This institution doesn’t reflect its president and it doesn’t reflect this room. I am an Academy member and it doesn’t reflect me, and it doesn’t reflect this nation.”
13. Oscars host Chris Rock tweeted a new promo for the show with the caption “The White BET Awards.”
15. And we’ve still got a month to go before the awards show itself — we’re just getting started.
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