In a bold move, actress Jada Pinkett Smith and director Spike Lee are calling on people of color to boycott the Academy Awards. The two are disappointed with the lack of diversity at this year’s show as not one of the actors or actresses up for an award is a person of color.
Earlier this morning, Jada took to Facebook to call for a boycott, saying in a taped message, “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? Maybe it’s time that we recognize that if we love and respect and acknowledge ourselves in the way in which we are asking others to do, that that is the place of true power.”
“Begging for acknowledgement, or even asking, diminishes dignity and diminishes power. And we are a dignified people and we are powerful,” she continued. “Let’s do us, differently.”
You can watch video of Jada’s speech below.
Spike, who just received a lifetime achievement award from the Academy back in November, said he will not be attending this year’s show in lengthy message posted on Instagram.
#OscarsSoWhite… Again. I Would Like To Thank President Cheryl Boone Isaacs And The Board Of Governors Of The Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts And Sciences For Awarding Me an Honorary Oscar This Past November. I Am Most Appreciative. However My Wife, Mrs. Tonya Lewis Lee And I Will Not Be Attending The Oscar Ceremony This Coming February. We Cannot Support It And 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? And Let's Not Even Get Into The Other Branches. 40 White Actors In 2 Years And No Flava At All. We Can't Act?! WTF!! It's No Coincidence I'm Writing This As We Celebrate The 30th Anniversary Of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's Birthday. Dr. King Said "There Comes A Time When One Must Take A Position That Is Neither Safe, Nor Politic, Nor Popular But He Must Take It Because Conscience Tells Him It's Right". For Too Many Years When The Oscars Nominations Are Revealed, My Office Phone Rings Off The Hook With The Media Asking Me My Opinion About The Lack Of African-Americans And This Year Was No Different. For Once, (Maybe) I Would Like The Media To Ask All The White Nominees And Studio Heads How They Feel About Another All White Ballot. If Someone Has Addressed This And I Missed It Then I Stand Mistaken. As I See It, The Academy Awards Is Not Where The "Real" Battle Is. It's In The Executive Office Of The Hollywood Studios And TV And Cable Networks. This Is Where The Gate Keepers Decide What Gets Made And What Gets Jettisoned To "Turnaround" Or Scrap Heap. This Is What's Important. The Gate Keepers. Those With "The Green Light" Vote. As The Great Actor Leslie Odom Jr. Sings And Dances In The Game Changing Broadway Musical HAMILTON, "I WANNA BE IN THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENS". People, The Truth Is We Ain't In Those Rooms And Until Minorities Are, The Oscar Nominees Will Remain Lilly White. (Cont'd)
‘GQ’ Cover Star LeBron James Has Hard Yet Necessary Convo W/ His Kids About Racism
It is a conversation that is difficult yet necessary: Racism.
For LeBron James, that conversation was had in depth after someone spray pained the N-word all over his Brentwood home. In a new interview with GQ magazine, the November cover star opened up about the emotional discussion with his sons and daughter.
“It’s heavy when a situation occurs either with myself or with someone in a different city, i.e., Trayvon, Mike Brown. I have to go home and talk to my 13- and 10-year-old sons, even my 2-year-old daughter, about what it means to grow up being an African-American in America,” he said about feeling the “twoness” in America.
He continued, “Because no matter how great you become in life, no matter how wealthy you become, how people worship you, or what you do, if you are an African-American man or African-American woman, you will always be that.”
James explained, “True colors will show, and it showed for me during the playoffs, where my house in Brentwood, California, one of the f*cking best neighborhoods in America, was vandalized with, you know, the N-word. And that shit puts it all back into perspective. So do I use my energy toward that? Or do I now shed a light on how I can use this negative to turn into a positive, because so many people are looking for what I’m going to say.”
That’s when he unveiled, “I had a conversation with my kids. I let them know this is what it is, this is how it’s going to be. When it’s time for y’all to fly, you’ll have to understand that. When y’all go out in public and y’all start driving or y’all start moving around, be respectful to cops, as much as you can. When you get pulled over, call your mom or dad, put it on speakerphone, and put your phone underneath the seat. But be respectful the whole time.”
Earlier this year multiple LAPD units responded to James’ California home when neighbors saw the word scrawled on the outer gate. At the time, James suggested that when it comes to racial inequality, “we have a long way to go.”
Click here to read James’ entire GQ article.
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