Spike Lee isn’t going to The Oscars. That’s not because he has any particular problem with the fact that his latest film hasn’t been nominated, but because he’s rightfully upset that for the second time in two-consecutive years, every actor nominated for top honors is white. Today, Lee took a stand with the following Instagram post, which he deliberately posted on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
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#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)
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lee thinks that more attention should be paid to the fact that so many of the nominees — 40 in two years is definitely a high number — are not people of color. Is it because people of color can’t act, Lee wonders? Because if that’s not the case, then there’s a much bigger problem.
Diverse actors considered likely nominees but were left out of the Oscars’ list included Will Smith (Concussion), Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation), Benicio del Toro (Sicario), Michael B. Jordan (Creed) and Samuel L. Jackson (The Hateful Eight).
Both Creed and NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton only received one Oscar nomination each, honors that went to white people involved with those films.
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Article Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter and Uproxx
First Picture Courtesy of Getty Images
Second Picture Courtesy of Instagram and Uproxx