“My wife, Mrs. Tonya Lewis Lee and I will not be attending the Oscar ceremony this coming February,” Lee wrote on Instagram on Monday morning. “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?” he continued. “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!!”
Lee went on to say that he receives calls from media outlets every year now asking for his reaction to the fact that no black actors have been nominated for the Oscars and that this year was no different. But Lee said he would rather that journalists ask the white nominees and studio heads their feelings on the matter.
“As I see it, The Academy Awards is not where the ‘real’ battle is,” he said. “It’s in the executive office of the Hollywood studios and TV and cable networks… The truth is we ain’t in those rooms and until minorities are, the Oscar nominees will remain lilly [sic] white.”
This year, the Academy failed to nominate any acting nominees of color for the second year in a row despite having 20 chances to do so.
Idris Elba (“Beasts of No Nation”), Will Smith (“Concussion”), Michael B. Jordan (“Creed”), Samuel L. Jackson (“The Hateful Eight”) and Jason Mitchell (“Straight Outta Compton”) were among the talented black performers to be snubbed. Puerto Rican actor Benicio Del Toro was also overlooked for his supporting performance in critically acclaimed crime drama “Sicario.”
The renewed #OscarsSoWhite controversy comes in spite of the fact that the Academy has taken steps to diversify its ranks by inviting new members such as David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and “Straight Outta Compton” director F. Gary Gray, who was also snubbed. The directing nominees, however, did include Mexican filmmaker Alejandro G. Inarritu for “The Revenant.”
#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)