Film director Spike Lee and actress Jada Pinkett Smith have said they will not attend next month’s Oscars ceremony because of the mostly white nominees.
Among those overlooked were the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton for best picture and Will Smith for best actor in NFL film Concussion.
His wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, said in a video message on Facebook that “begging for acknowledgement, or even asking, diminishes dignity and diminishes power.”
Director Spike Lee, 58, is one of the three black writers to previously be nominated for Best Writing (Original Screenplay), for his 1989 film Do The Right Thing. The other nominees were Suzanne de Passe in 1972, and then John Singleton in 1991. However, Lee has never been nominated for Best Director — only three black men have been.
In a thoughtful message on Instagram this week, Lee explained that he and his wife “cannot support” the “lily white” Oscars.
“#OscarsSoWhite … Again,” he wrote. “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?”