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Stars Voice Opinions On The Oscars Shutout Of Black Directors and Black Actors


It’s no secret the racial landscape of Oscar nominees, and subsequent winners, has always been a virtually blank canvas.

Following Thursday’s [January 14, 2016] announcement of this year’s Oscar nominees, the public became more vocal than ever on the issue.

No one of color was nominated for major awards like Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor or Best Supporting Actress, and the Best Picture category didn’t welcome any films featuring African-American actors.

It goes without saying social media, including Twitter, quickly went into frenzy, sparking the revival of last year’s anti-Academy hashtag #OscarSoWhite.

Many stars have voiced their opinions, including the show’s host Chris Rock, who released a comical 15-second promo, captioning the Academy Awards as the “White BET Awards.”

Executive producer of the well-reviewed Straight Outta Compton, Will Packer, took to Facebook to express his disdain for this year’s Oscar “white-out.” Straight Outta Compton, which was recently named the highest-grossing music biopic, featured a strong cast of Black actors. However, the film’s only nomination went to its white screenwriters Jon Herman and Andrea Berloff for Best Screenplay.

“To my Academy colleagues, WE HAVE TO DO BETTER. Period,” Packer stated in a lengthy Facebook post. “The reason the rest of the world looks at us like we have no clue is because in 2016 it’s a complete embarrassment to say that the heights of cinematic achievement have only been reached by white people. I repeat—it’s embarrassing.”

The producer went on to point out deserving Black actors who were snubbed this year, with Creed’s Michael B. Jordan, Beast of No Nation’s Idris Elba, Star Wars’ John Boyega and Concussion‘s Will Smith.

The following day [January 15, 2016], Reverend Al Sharpton expressed his own sentiments toward the topic.

“Hollywood is like the Rocky Mountains, the higher up you get the whiter it gets, and this year’s Academy Awards will be yet another Rocky Mountain Oscars,” Sharpton began in a statement. “Yet again, deserving Black actors and directors were ignored by the academy — which reinforces the fact that there are few if any Blacks with real power in Hollywood. Being left out of awards consideration is about more than just recognition for a job well done; winning an Oscar has long-lasting cultural and economic impacts.”

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STARS REACT TO THE OSCARS’ SHUT-OUT OF BLACK ACTORS AND DIRECTORS

MILCA PIERRE JANUARY 17, 2016
It’s no secret the racial landscape of Oscar nominees, and subsequent winners, has always been a virtually blank canvas.

Following Thursday’s [January 14, 2016] announcement of this year’s Oscar nominees, the public became more vocal than ever on the issue.

No one of color was nominated for major awards like Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor or Best Supporting Actress, and the Best Picture category didn’t welcome any films featuring African-American actors.

It goes without saying social media, including Twitter, quickly went into frenzy, sparking the revival of last year’s anti-Academy hashtag #OscarSoWhite.

Many stars have voiced their opinions, including the show’s host Chris Rock, who released a comical 15-second promo, captioning the Academy Awards as the “White BET Awards.”


Executive producer of the well-reviewed Straight Outta Compton, Will Packer, took to Facebook to express his disdain for this year’s Oscar “white-out.” Straight Outta Compton, which was recently named the highest-grossing music biopic, featured a strong cast of Black actors. However, the film’s only nomination went to its white screenwriters Jon Herman and Andrea Berloff for Best Screenplay.

“To my Academy colleagues, WE HAVE TO DO BETTER. Period,” Packer stated in a lengthy Facebook post. “The reason the rest of the world looks at us like we have no clue is because in 2016 it’s a complete embarrassment to say that the heights of cinematic achievement have only been reached by white people. I repeat—it’s embarrassing.”

The producer went on to point out deserving Black actors who were snubbed this year, with Creed’s Michael B. Jordan, Beast of No Nation’s Idris Elba, Star Wars’ John Boyega and Concussion‘s Will Smith.

The following day [January 15, 2016], Reverend Al Sharpton expressed his own sentiments toward the topic.

“Hollywood is like the Rocky Mountains, the higher up you get the whiter it gets, and this year’s Academy Awards will be yet another Rocky Mountain Oscars,” Sharpton began in a statement. “Yet again, deserving Black actors and directors were ignored by the academy — which reinforces the fact that there are few if any Blacks with real power in Hollywood. Being left out of awards consideration is about more than just recognition for a job well done; winning an Oscar has long-lasting cultural and economic impacts.”

Rev. Al Sharpton and N.A.N L.A. urge Feb. 28th boycott of Oscars. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Rev. Al Sharpton and N.A.N L.A. urge Feb. 28th boycott of Oscars. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Protesting the lack of diversity, Al Sharpton and the National Action Network L.A. are pushing for a boycott of the upcoming awards show. They also plan to address studios and film industry leaders in a Hollywood Summit next month.

The backlash doesn’t stop there. More recently, Jada Pinkett-Smith took to social media to open up about the inequality in this year’s Oscar nominations following the snub of her husband Will Smith’s well-received performance in Concussion. Her words only echoed Al Sharpton’s previous comments, posing the question on whether or not people of color should “refrain from participating altogether.”














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