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  • Writer's pictureMelina Joseph

Voices of Color Regarding #OscarsSoWhite

The complete list of Oscar nominees has been announced for the 2016 Academy Awards, which is only weeks away. Not only are actors speaking out in regards to the lack of diversity in this year’s nominations, but artists are as well.

This will be the second year in a row in which only white performers are nominated in the four actor’s and actress’s categories. Unfortunately, this completely takes away the chance of a well-deserved woman of color actress becoming the second to win the Best Actress award. As we all know, Halle Berry was the first black woman to win this award all the way back in 2002. That’s 14 years ago, people!

Celebrities like Jada Pinkett-Smith and Spike Lee announced on Martin Luther King Jr. holiday that they would not be attending the award show. Rappers Snoop Dogg and Bun B had a few words to say as well.

Pinkett-Smith posted a video on Facebook in Jan. that expressed her disappointment in the academy and the need for change, but importantly added, “I have nothing but love, always.” At the end of the video she gave a friendly, good luck shout-out to comedian Chris Rock who will be hosting this year’s “white BET Awards,” as Rock called it.

Rock has spoken out about the struggles of being black in the entertainment industry many times. One instance in particular was in Dec. 2014 when he wrote for The Hollywood Report and called the entertainment industry a “white industry.” “It just is,” he stated. Rock also explained, “If Kevin Hart is playing 40,000 seats in a night and Jon Stewart is playing 3,000, the fact that Jon Stewart’s 3,000 are white means Kevin has to cross over? That makes no sense.” People of color are not always given an option while working in an industry that is predominately white. Many might say people of color are “robbed” from their talents. At least that’s how rapper Bun B would put it.

Bun B spoke out on Twitter in regards to the Oscar nominees and posted, “I don’t even want to start in on the fact that one of the best biopics in years was stubbed as well. @icecube you and your team were robbed.” He continued to say Idris Elba was also “robbed.”

West coast rapper Snoop Dogg posted an explicit video on Instagram sharing his thoughts and told viewers he will not be watching the Academy Awards. “The f*** am I gunnu watch that b***s*** for? Ain’t got no n***** nominated… F*** you.”

Some believe these actors/actresses and artists who are speaking up about the nominations are overreacting, while others support their decision and believe in their message. We can’t help but wonder if more celebrities will join their stance and overall, how the Academy Awards will turn out on Feb. 28.

Cover Image via YouTube and Picture via Hollywood Reporter

Written for 24/7 Hollywood 2016 by Melina Joseph

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