Jada Pinkett Smith boycotts Oscars over racial discrimination

The International Press and Media Group 2015 | Jada Pinket Smith
  • By Katie Nkrumah


The Oscars have come under fire for lack of diversity and overlooking non-Caucasian stars

Film director Spike Lee and actress Jada Pinkett Smith have said they will not attend next month’s Oscars ceremony because of the mostly Caucasian nominees. This comes as growing international criticism has voiced disdain of the award’s lack of acknowledgement for non-Caucasian stars, directors and producers.

Among those overlooked were the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton for best picture and Will Smith for best actor in NFL film Concussion.

Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, said in a video message on social media that “begging for acknowledgement, or even asking, diminishes dignity and diminishes power.”

It is the second year in a row where not a single non-Caucasian was accepted for nomination as best actress or actor. For several years questions have been raised as to the reasons why some of the industry’s finest have been over looked at the award ceremony.

Actress Janet Hubert whom played Vivian Banks in the television show The Fresh Prince of Belair for a short time (1990-1993) before being replaced released a video message in retaliation to the calls for boycotting action. Hubert made personal insults and remarks against both Jada and Will Smith claiming their motives were purely personal and unprofessional, an opinion seemingly not held by many. Jada added in her message that the board members of the awards had the right to nominate whom ever they wished so long as their decision was based on professional performances and abilities rather than leaning towards ‘the right face’ or ‘the right colour’ for the red carpets.