Rev. Al Sharpton Has Some Words for the Oscars Academy

Rev. Al Sharpton Has Some Words for the Oscars Academy

The political figure is not here for the lack of diversity among this year's nominees.

Published January 16th

The Rev. Al Sharpton is the latest public figure to express his disgust in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences following this year's white-washed nominations. Sharpton, however, is taking a different route from other critics by calling for a boycott of the upcoming awards show.

"Hollywood is like the Rocky Mountains, the higher up you get the whiter it gets, and this year's Academy Awards will be yet another Rocky Mountain Oscars," he said in a statement from his National Action Network. "Yet again, deserving Black actors and directors were ignored by the academy — which reinforces the fact that there are few if any Blacks with real power in Hollywood. Being left out of awards consideration is about more than just recognition for a job well done; winning an Oscar has long-lasting cultural and economic impacts."

This is the second consecutive year that the revered awards show has been all-white. All 20 acting nomineed are white. The directing category features only one person of color (Alejandro G. Iñárritu), with no women being recognized. In the coveted category for Best Picture, no films with majority Black actors (such as Straight Outta Compton or Creed) were considered.

Protesting the lack of diversity, the N.A.N. L.A. is pushing a nationwide "TV tune-out" of the Oscar telecast, which is set to air on Feb. 28.

Amidst the criticism, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, a Black woman, spoke out, sharing that she is disappointed. "Of course I am disappointed, but this is not to take away the greatness [of the films nominated]," she told Deadline. "This has been a great year in film, it really has across the board. You are never going to know what is going to appear on the sheet of paper until you see it."

Though this was not Will Smith's year for a nomination, check out the actor humbly talk about his craft in our exclusive interview below:

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(Photo:  Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

Written by Moriba Cummings

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