Hollywood is fragmented. At least, until the end of February. The recent boycott to the Academy, arranged by many entertainers of the Afro-American community has become so controversial that now it’s really tricky to make a statement without upsetting anybody. The more actors that speak out, the more controversy increases. And now, with the recent statements from other actors, it’s even more difficult to reorganise how it all began. Let’s start from the beginning.
It was no coincidence that everything started on Martin Luther King’s day, January 18th this year. On that day, actress Jada Pinkett Smith said in tweets: ‘At the Oscars…people of color are always welcomed to give out awards…even entertain/ But we are rarely recognized for our artistic accomplishments. Should people of color refrain from participating all together? ‘ She later posted a video that went viral in a few hours. The message is clear: she announced that she would be not attending the Academy Awards’ ceremony in order to protest for the Afro-American community’s rights.
The reason for protesting is that there are no black nominees this year. So, that’s why many entertainers have also joined Jada in her initiative. For example, that would include her own husband Will Smith, director Spike Lee, singer Tyrese Gibson, rapper Snoop Dogg or actor Mark Ruffalo.
Other celebrities have publicly said that they’re actually weighing whether attending or not such as George Clooney. Meanwhile, other black celebrities have also spoken about the issue; actress Lupita Nyong’o did by posting images on Facebook of her own words: expressing how disappointed she is.
If there wasn’t enough controversy, other actors that will be attending the ceremony have been responsible of adding more. That’s the case of English actors Michael Caine and Charlotte Rampling, who has been especially mentioned during these last days because of her polemic response to boycott, affirming that it’s ‘racism against whites’. ‘We can never know if it’s really the case. Sometimes maybe black actors didn’t deserve to make the shortlist.’ said Rampling. Caine also stated something similar: ‘“…there’s loads of black actors […] You can’t vote for an actor because he’s black’
Still, we’ll have to wait until February to see the impact that this will have the night of the Awards. What’s more, it will be very interesting to see what will Chris Rock do, as he’ll be hosting the show. After the requests by many supporters of the boycott, Rock is confirmed to be rewriting his speech in order to emphasise this cause.
For this year, we have another great polemic. And now, we’ll have to see what will be happening during these days: will this boycott be a success or will it end up in a paddy? Anyway, it’s a convincing issue; maybe that’s why the popular hashtag #OscarsSoWhite was created by a white person, like the reporter of this article.