- The Washington Times - Monday, January 18, 2016

Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith announced they are boycotting next month’s Academy Awards over what they believe is a lack of diversity among the nominees.

The “Chi-Raq” director took to Instagram on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to say he “cannot support” Hollywood’s executive “gate keepers” who “Decide What Gets Made And What Gets Jettisoned To ‘Turnaround’ Or Scrap Heap.”

“How Is It Possible For The 2nd Consecutive Year All 20 Contenders Under The Actor Category Are White?” Mr. Lee wrote. “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!!

“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 … Those With ‘The Green Light’ Vote,” he added. “People, The Truth Is We Ain’t In Those Rooms And Until Minorities Are, The Oscar Nominees Will Remain Lilly White.”

Ms. Smith, whose husband Will Smith wasn’t nominated for his performance in the NFL drama “Concussion,” echoed similar sentiments in a Facebook video. She said she would not attend this year’s Academy Awards and wouldn’t watch the ceremony on television.

“Begging for acknowledgement or even asking diminishes dignity and diminishes power and we are a dignified people and we are powerful, let’s not forget it,” she said in the video, which was viewed more than four million times since it was posted early Monday.

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