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.
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.
Lee joins with Jada Pinkett-Smith, who already suggested a potential boycott of the awards ceremony for her husband’s snub specifically and the lack of diversity in general. But as Lee points out, it’s not just the lack of nominations that’s a problem. It’s the fact that the executives who make the big decisions — the ones who lead to the movies being nominated being made in the first place — are not minorities. That’s why Lee is both not attending the Oscars and calling for change.
“The Academy Awards Is Not Where The Real Battle Is,” he writes. “It’s In The Executive Office Of The Hollywood Studios And TV And Cable Networks.” Hopefully his and Pinkett-Smith’s statements will help change what these movie board rooms look like.
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)