It probably won’t be the case that a boycott over the lack of diversity among this year’s Oscar nominees will throw Tinseltown’s biggest night of the year into major turmoil — but it’s certainly worth discussing.
And it’s great that backlash over the second year of all-white acting nominees is also putting pressure on the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences to diversify its overwhelmingly white male membership.
The furor grew Tuesday when the Rev. Al Sharpton said he would lead a campaign encouraging people not to watch the Feb. 28 telecast. On Monday, Spike Lee, this year’s Oscar honoree for lifetime achievement, and Jada Pinkett Smith (whose husband Will Smith wasn’t nominated for his performance in “Concussion”) announced they will boycott the ceremony in protest.
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the academy’s first African American president, said that “it’s time for big changes” and that she will review membership recruiting to bring about “much-need diversity.”
At a Los Angeles event honoring Boone Isaacs Monday, David Oyelowo — who was snubbed last year for his performance as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in “Selma” — expressed frustration with the academy.
Others protesting this year’s non-diverse nominations include “Straight Outta Compton” executive producer Will Packer, Chris Rock, who is set to host the awards, and Don Cheadle and George Clooney.
Meanwhile, Janet Hubert, who co-starred with Will Smith on “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” as Aunt Viv, called out Pinkett Smith on video, asking, “Does your man not have a mouth of his own with which to speak?” She added, “I find it ironic that somebody who has made their living and has made millions of dollars from the very people that you’re talking about boycotting just because you didn’t get a nomination, just because you didn’t win? That’s not the way life works, baby.”
She continued, “You ain’t Barack and Michelle Obama. And y’all need to get over yourselves … You are a part of Hollywood, you are part of the system that is unfair to other actors. So get real.”
Jamie Foxx turned into a real-life action hero by saving someone from a burning car near his Los Angeles home. … Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez, who had the Miss Universe crown literally removed from her minutes after Steve Harvey wrongfully announced her as the winner, forgave Harvey during her appearance on his show on Tuesday.
S.F. 49er Eli Harold is 22. … Actor Evan Peters is 29. … Actor Rainn Wilson is 50. … TV host Bill Maher is 60. … Guitarist Paul Stanley of Kiss is 64. … Director David Lynch is 70. … Novelist Robert Olen Butler is 71, … Astronaut Buzz Aldrin is 86.
— Staff, wire reports
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