Black Stars Are Boycotting 'Lily White' Oscars
Jada Pinkett Smith, Spike Lee will skip Academy Awards
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2016 10:48 AM CST
Jada Pinkett Smith arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Magic Mike XXL" at the TCL Chinese Theatre on June 25, 2015.   (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – Chris Rock lamented last week that the Oscars are essentially "the white BET awards." He can't exactly skip them, since he's the host—but other black stars can. Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee have both pledged to boycott this year's Academy Awards, for which no black actors were nominated, TMZ reports; both mentioned Martin Luther King in their messages posted Monday:

  • "Begging for acknowledgment, or even asking, diminishes dignity and diminishes power. And we are a dignified people, and we are powerful," Smith said in a Facebook video, adding that the black community should "make programs for ourselves that acknowledge us in ways that we see fit, that are just as good as the so-called mainstream ones."

  • "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," Lee said in an Instagram post. Noting that he's always asked to comment after these types of situations, he added, "For Once, (Maybe) I Would Like The Media To Ask All The White Nominees And Studio Heads How They Feel About Another All White Ballot."
Click to see both posts in full.
 

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