The #OscarsSoWhite controversy continues to make headlines, prompting several big names in Black Hollywood to speak out and vow to boycott the award show next month.
Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith have announced their decision to boycott the Oscars as a result of the Academy Award nominee whiteout. Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy and the first Black women to hold the position, has even expressed her displeasure with the “lack of inclusion” in this year’s crop of Oscar hopefuls.
The #OscarsSoWhite firestorm has even drawn The View‘s Whoopi Goldberg into its epicenter, provoking her to rebuke calls for a Black boycott of the show, saying “boycotting doesn’t work” and would “equate to a ‘slap in the face’ to (host) Chris Rock.”
As the controversy continues to swirl, political and social commentator Jasmyne Cannick took to Twitter and called for Whites to step up to the plate and stand in solidarity with African-American entertainers.
First, Blacks as a whole don’t watch the Oscars. That’s not really our thing. Sure some of us do, but not in the numbers that would matter. If anything, we usually digest the recap online the morning after. And even if every Black in the country with a television tuned out, it wouldn’t make one bit of difference. Why? Because when was the last time you saw a commercial during the Academy Awards that was targeted towards Black people? Exactly.
No, a better call, a much more thoughtful call to action would be to put Hollywood’s liberalism to work by calling on Black Hollywood’s white Hollywood friends to sit this one out and refrain from walking the red carpet or attending the event.
Cannick joined Roland Martin Wednesday on NewsOne Now to discuss her blog post calling for liberal Hollywood to boycott the Academy Awards and said, “I think at the end of the day, it’s an easy out to call on Blacks to boycott the Oscars — if every single one of us tuned out and didn’t watch the Oscars, it really wouldn’t hurt their bottom line.”
She further explained her point, saying if Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, George Clooney, Brad Pitt and other stars were to “sit this one out” in support of their African-American colleagues, a “stronger message” would be sent to the “93 percent of the voting Academy who is White and the 74 percent that is male.”
Cannick also called on the LGBT community to stand in solidarity with Black actors, saying, “If the gay community was screaming foul because of the Oscars, folks would be standing up left and right to support the gay community, and it should be no different with the African-American community – especially coming from Hollywood, who is known for being the most liberalist of the liberal.”
She added, “Everyone supports everyone, equality for all — well, they need to put their money where their mouth is right now, I think it’s more than lip service — I don’t want to see folks accept awards in their fancy furs and jewels and dresses and do some sort of political speech about the lack of Black folks and go backstage to do a ton of media interviews.”
“Sometimes being an ally means you have to get up and actually do something and I think African-Americans, especially in Black Hollywood, deserve better from their White colleagues and this is that point and time they can actually do something.”
Watch Roland Martin, Jasmyne Cannick, and the NewsOne Now panel discuss the controversy and Cannick’s admonishment of White liberal Hollywood in the video clip above.
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