Oscars…or “White BET Awards”?

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Travis Davis, Staff Reporter

It’s that time of year already. The crucial days of waiting to see if all of the actors’ hard work has paid off. That’s right; the Oscars. But this year’s Oscars are a bit more… controversial, considering there were no black actors or actresses nominated. America has already taken to social media, with the hash-tag #OscarsSoWhite, implying the Oscars are being made into something only white people can be nominated for.

Chris Rock, the host of Oscars 2016, has dubbed this year’s Oscars as the “white BET awards” joining in criticism of the apparent institutional racism of the Oscars. Supposedly, there were supposed to be some diversity changes taking place this year that there wasn’t last year. So, making Chris Rock the host was what they settled for? Is that as diverse as they could possibly be?

What makes majority of the controversy is the fact that Michael B. Jordan, the leading actor in Creed wasn’t nominated, but his white supporting actor, Sylvester Stallone, was. None of the ACTORS from Straight Outta Compton were nominated–although the screenplay was. 

To make matters worse, actress Jada Pinkett-Smith and director Spike Lee have been outspoken about not attending the Oscars “due to the lack of diversity on this year’s nominees list.” Pinkett has been very vocal, and announced on Facebook on Monday that she’s not watching the show and she’s not going to show up.  While Lee was quick to add his name to that list of non-attendees, he has since clarified that he’s not calling for a boycott per se.

In the Facebook video Pinkett stated, “The Academy has the right to acknowledge whoever they choose. To invite whoever they choose. And now I think that it’s our responsibility now to make change,” she noted. “Begging for acknowledgment or even asking diminishes dignity and diminishes power. And we are a dignified people, and we are powerful. So let the Academy do them in all grace and love. And let’s do us differently.”

Lee also took to social media and expressed his distaste with the whole thing on Instagram by saying,”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?”

Many people agree and support what Pinkett and Lee are doing, joining in what they call their “noble cause.” Those who didn’t agree, however, have been saying a few words. Mainly Aunt Viv.  Actress Janet Hubert, our favorite Aunt Viv from Fresh Prince, took to Youtube and expressed her opinion on what Pinkett was doing. She brought up a lot of great points that served as effective counterpoint, characterizing Pinkett as being worked up about the wrong things, out of jealousy. Hubert brought attention all the important things going on in our society. “People are dying. Our boys are being shot left and right. People are hungry. People are starving. People are trying to pay bills, and you’re talking about some [enter swear word] actors and Oscars. It just ain’t that deep.”

She then closed the video out making it clear that she wasn’t bitter at all, that she was stating her opinion and that her opinion was just as valid as anyone else’s.

So readers, what do you think about the whole thing? Is Pinkett throwing this whole thing out of proportion or is she standing up and doing right?