Rev. Al Sharpton is at the forefront of yet another movement. The Civil Rights activist is calling for a boycott of the upcoming Academy Awards since there are no African American actors nominated for the coveted golden statue.
“Hollywood is like the Rocky Mountains, the higher up you get the whiter it gets and this year’s Academy Awards will be yet another Rocky Mountain Oscars,” said Sharpton in a statement.
“Yet again, deserving black actors and directors were ignored by the Academy — which reinforces the fact that there are few if any blacks with real power in Hollywood.”
Many people have debated that African American actors shouldn’t seek validation from “white awards” especially when there are ceremonies that honor black excellence including the NAACP Image Awards, The Trumpet Awards, BET Awards, Soul Train Awards and more.
However, as Sharpton goes on to mention in his statement, to be an Oscar nominee as well as an Oscar winner historically includes a new level of respect and the ability to command top dollar and top billing in future productions.
“Being left out of awards consideration is about more than just recognition for a job well-done; winning an Oscar has long-lasting cultural and economic impacts,” added Sharpton.
Najee Ali, political director for National Action Network (NAN), Sharpton’s civil right’s organization. is calling for a “TV-Tune Out” of the telecast. “The only thing the academy will listen to is ad dollars. There will be a lack of viewers, advertisers and interest,” said Ali to the LA Weekly.
He went on to chastise Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the first African American woman to preside over the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
“[Isaacs] is nothing but a pawn, and the black face of Hollywood’s system and culture that is racist, sexist and lacks true diversity” he added.
In her two years as President, Isaacs has attempted to make the Academy’s membership more diverse. She created the “A2020” initiative which extended membership into the exclusive organization to 400 artists.
David Oyelowo (“Selma”), Gugu Mbatha-Raw, (“Concussion”), and director F. Gary Gray (“Straight Outta Compton”) are amongst the latest inductees into the Academy who had voting privileges this awards season.
In response to the lack of diversity within this year’s nominee’s Isaacs’ said, “Of course I am disappointed, but this is not to take away the greatness (of the films nominated). This has been a great year in film, it really has across the board. You are never going to know what is going to appear on the sheet of paper until you see it.”
Beauties, should black actors refuse to attend the Academy Awards ceremony? Will you personally boycott the Oscars by refusing to watch when it airs on ABC on February 28th?