Director Spike Lee has slammed the “lily white” state of the major Oscar nominations in an Instagram post published this morning alongside a photo of Martin Luther King Jr.
Lee, whose most recent film “Chi-Raq” was released in December, received an Honorary Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in November. However, the director said he said he and his wife would boycott the Oscars ceremony this year.
“How is it possible for the 2nd consecutive year all 20 contenders under the actor category are white?” Lee wrote using the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag. “And let's not even get into the other branches.”
There were no African Americans included in any of the acting categories or among the best director nominees, prompting a wave of criticism.
Many observers felt that “Creed” director Ryan Coogler should have received a nomination along with that film’s star Michael B. Jordan. “Concussion” star Will Smith was also omitted in the Best Actor category.
Will Smith has not voiced any plans to boycott the Feb. 28 Academy Awards ceremony.
But his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, announced on Monday that she would not be attending the Oscars. “Begging for acknowledgment or even asking diminishes dignity and diminishes power,” said Pinkett Smith. “So, let’s let the Academy do them, with all grace and love, and let’s do us differently.”
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