The Academy Awards president Cheryl Boone Isaacs has come forward to speak out following publicized backlash over its exclusion of key African Americans in a handful of key categories for next month’s ceremony.
Isaacs issued a statement revealing her frustration Monday (January 18) and promised a change would come.
“I’d like to acknowledge the wonderful work of this year’s nominees. While we celebrate their extraordinary achievements, I am both heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion,” she said in statement issued Monday evening. “This is a difficult but important conversation, and it’s time for big changes. The Academy is taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup of our membership. In the coming days and weeks we will conduct a review of our membership recruitment in order to bring about much-needed diversity in our 2016 class and beyond.” (NY Daily News)
Movie director Spike Lee dished out his frustrations with the Oscars going with all-white nominees this awards season Monday (January 18).
Actress Jada Pinkett Smith spoke out against the Academy Awards had overlooked people of color in Hollywood films.
“Hi, today is Martin Luther King’s birthday and I cannot help but ask the question, is it time that people of color recognize how much power influence we have amassed that we no longer need to ask to be invited anywhere. I ask the question, have we now come to a new time and place where we recognize that we can no longer beg for the love, acknowledgement or respect of any group – I’m simply asking a question. Here’s what I believe. The Academy has the right to acknowledge whomever they choose, to invite whomever they choose and now I think it’s our responsibility now to make the change. Maybe it’s time we pull back our resources and put them back into our communities and into our programs and we make programs for ourselves that acknowledge us in ways we see fit that are just as good as the so-called ‘mainstream’ ones. I don’t know. Here’s what I’d do. Begging for acknowledgement and asking diminishes dignity and diminishes power and we are a dignified people and powerful. Let’s not forget it. So, let’s let the Academy do them, with all grace and love, and let’s do us differently. I got nothing but love. And [host] Chris [Rock], I will not be at the Academy Awards and I won’t be watching, but I can’t think of a better man to do the job at hand this year than you my friend. Good luck. And to the rest of you, nothing but love, always.” (Facebook)
Smith went on a mini-Twitter tirade this past weekend and expressed an interest in possibly falling back on attending the yearly Oscars.