For the second consecutive year, all 20 actors nominated for Academy Awards are white — and two of Hollywood's most prominent black voices have announced that they plan to boycott this year's ceremony over the glaring lack of diversity.
In an Instagram post commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day, director Spike Lee — who received an honorary Oscar just a few months ago — said he and hs wife won't attend this year's Oscar ceremony. "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," wrote Lee. "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."
In a video posted to her official Facebook page, Jada Pinkett Smith said she believed African-Americans should "pull back our resources and put them back into our communities" instead of seeking affirmation or approval from the Academy. "I will not be at the Academy Awards, and I won't be watching," she said.
Both Lee and Smith stressed that they meant no specific disrespect to host Chris Rock, who is black. The Academy Awards ceremony will air on February 28.