By: Cassie Ericson
Filmmaker Spike Lee and actress Jada Pinkett Smith will not be attending this year’s Oscars due to shortage of diversity among the nominees. Both of them had posted messages on social media frustrated at the fact that for two years in a row, all of the nominees in the acting category are white. Spike Lee had posted on Instagram “We cannot support it and I 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 acting category are white? Forty white actors in two years and no flava at all. We can’t act?! WTF!!”
Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith’s wife, had posted a video on Facebook on Martin Luther King Jr. day saying “Is it time that people of color recognize how much power, influence that we have amassed, that we no longer need to ask to be invited anywhere?” Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who is an African American, is also disappointed at this year’s turn outs for the nominees, agreeing with Smith and Lee that there is no diversity. Isaacs stated that “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.”
Kara Walter, a teacher at North Eugene High School, said “I think it’s a shame that there is not more accurate representations of race, gender and culture on T.V and in movies.”
The process of voting for the Nominees is long and tiring, consisting of six-thousand people including actors, actresses, directors, cinematographers and editors. Michael Caine said “There are loads of black actors; I think in the end you can’t vote for an actor just because he’s black. You can’t say: I’m going to vote for him, he’s not very good but he’s black, so I’ll vote for him. You’ve got to give a good performance.” It might be a blessing in disguise if you don’t go to the Oscars because it’s a long way to travel to clap for someone else.