By Marc Morial
President & CEO, National Urban League
Diversity at the Oscars
Actress Jada Pinkett Smith, in criticizing a lack of Black nominees for Oscars, said “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? People can only treat us in the way in which we allow.”
Director Spike Lee, who will receive an honorary Oscar, asked, “How Is It Possible For The 2nd Consecutive Year All 20 Contenders Under The Actor Category Are White?”
He noted that the Academy Awards is “not where the ‘real’ battle is” and TV and film executives must actively seek out more productions with actors of color, and to hire people of color as executives to help diversify the entertainment world.
We at the National Urban League have long supported efforts to diversify the entertainment industry. And I will be joining Pinkett Smith and Lee in boycotting the Awards until these efforts begin to bear results. Read more in this week’s To Be Equal column.