HOLLYWOOD -- It has the makings of a Hollywood drama: controversy and criticism. The Twitterverse is on fire, circulating the #OscarsSoWhite, following the announcement of this year's Academy Award nominees.
Social media has spoken, and a lot of people are giving a big thumbs-down to the lack of diversity evident among the list of Oscars contenders. Many feel black Hollywood is purposely excluded from the winner's circle year after year.
Case in point: Will Smith. The Concussion star's performance was enough to garner a Golden Globe nod, but Smith was snubbed by the Oscars. Well, that apparently isn't sitting well with wifey Jada Pinkett Smith.
From a series of tweets to a powerful Facebook video, Mrs. Smith expressed her frustration noting, "At the Oscars, people of color are always welcomed to give out awards, even entertain, but we are rarely recognized for our artistic accomplishments."
Filmmaker Spike Lee blasted the Academy saying, "We cannot support it and [I] mean no disrespect ... But, how is it possible for the second consecutive year all 20 contenders under the acting category are white? And let's not even get into the other branches," Lee wrote on Instagram. "Forty white actors in two years and no flava at all. We can't act?! WTF!!"
#OscarsSoWhite... Again. I Would Like To Thank President Cheryl Boone Isaacs And The Board Of Governors Of The Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts And Sciences For Awarding Me an Honorary Oscar This Past November. I Am Most Appreciative. However My Wife, Mrs. Tonya Lewis Lee And I Will Not Be Attending The Oscar Ceremony This Coming February. 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!! It's No Coincidence I'm Writing This As We Celebrate The 30th Anniversary Of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's Birthday. 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". For Too Many Years When The Oscars Nominations Are Revealed, My Office Phone Rings Off The Hook With The Media Asking Me My Opinion About The Lack Of African-Americans And This Year Was No Different. 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. If Someone Has Addressed This And I Missed It Then I Stand Mistaken. 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. (Cont'd)
Chris Rock, who is set to host the Academy Awards, also chimed in on the controversy. The comedian tweeted a 15-second clip with the caption: "The Oscars.The white BET awards. "
So, what does the Academy think about all of the backlash? In a statement to the online publication, Deadline President Cheryl Boone Isaacs (who's black) says she, herself is disappointed.
"When it comes to fair and equal representation in our industry, words are are not enough," she added.
We're not saying that Isaacs is on board with boycotting her own show, but it's pretty clear that #OscarsSoWhite, isn't so right.