Boycott of the 88th Annual Academy Awards

Photo Courtesy of

Photo Courtesy of

James Qian, Photojournalist

On the morning of Thursday, January 14, 2016, the nominations for the 2016 Academy Awards were released to the public. Surprisingly yet unsurprisingly, there is a lack of diversity in the nominations of the acting categories, similarly to the nominations in 2015.

Before we go further into detail on this topic, you must be informed on how the nominees are selected. First of all, there is a group of more than 6,000 elite film makers, or at least people who have worked in the film industry before, that send in their votes to be tallied for the nominees to be determined. However, the vast majority of the group that selects the nominees is white, which is assumed to be one of the contributing factors to why there is not much diversity in the nominations.

The Saturday after which the nominations were released, drama started to form as Jada Pinkett Smith, wife of Concussion actor Will Smith, posted a series of tweets stating there are no non-white actors that were nominated for an acting award. Many can assume that Smith is enraged by the fact that her husband was nominated for an acting award for the 2016 Golden Globes, which were held earlier this year, but not for the Academy Awards.

Two days after Smith’s tweets, on Monday, the drama only heated up when Janet Hubert, an actress who was part of the original cast of Fresh Prince of Bel Air, posted a 4 minute long video that includes harsh comments directed towards Smith. Hubert in this video claims that her husband should speak for himself and states that there are bigger problems in the world that should actually be worried about. Since the time the video was released, there has been an ongoing feud between Smith and Hubert.

This feud between Smith and Hubert is not the drama that is happening over the subject that the nominations for the Academy Awards include no non-white actors. Tyrese Gibson and 50 Cent both have been trying to convince the host of the awards ceremony, Chris Rock, to drop out of the position. Also, the president of the Academy, Cheryl Boone Isaacs stated that she is “heartbroken” over the fact that there is a lack of diversity in the Oscar nominations.

Luke Edwards (11) was asked to give his opinion on this entire situation. He says, “I feel like there is definitely a problem with how the nominees are chosen, but at the same time, I feel like everybody is making such a huge deal out of this.”

The 2016 Academy Awards will be taking place on Sunday, February 28th, 2016, and until then, we can find out how much the boycott of the annual awards ceremony will affect the ceremony itself.