Jada Pinkett has revealed she will not be attending the Oscars, or watching it on television, in response to the lack of nominations for people of colour.
The actress and wife of Will Smith posted a video on Monday – Martin Luther King Day in the U.S, voicing her thoughts on the lack of diversity in this year’s nominations at the Academy Awards.
Delivering a powerful speech, she said: ‘I can’t help ask the question: is it time that people of colour, recognise how much power and influence we have amassed that we no longer need to ask to be invited anywhere.’
The 44-year-old star went on: ‘I ask the question have we now come to a new time and place, where we recognise that we can no longer beg for the love, acknowledgement or respect of any group. That maybe it is time that we recognise of we love, respect and acknowledge ourselves in the way we are asking others to do, then that that is the place of true power. I’m simply asking the question.’
Airing her thoughts on the Academy’s neglect to nominate any people of colour in the top categories she said: ‘Here is what I believe, the Academy has the right to acknowledge whomever they choose, to invite whomever they choose and now, I think that it is our responsibility now, to make the change.
Jada, whose husband Will Smith has received other award nominations for his role in the movie Concussion, then inferred the only way to overcome the situation was for people of colour to do things themselves.
She said: ‘Maybe it is time we pull back our resources and we put them back into our communities and to our programs, and we make programs for ourselves and that acknowledge us in ways that see us in ways that we see fit, that are just as good, as the so called main stream ones. Here is what I do know – begging for acknowledgment, or even asking diminishes dignity, and diminishes power, and we are a dignified people and we are powerful and let’s not forget it.’ Let’s let the Academy do that with all grace and love and let’s do us differently. I have got nothing but love.’
Sending a message to Chris Rock, who is hosting this year, and has already branded the ceremony the ‘white BET awards’ she added: ‘Hey Chris I will not be at the Academy Awards and I will not be watching. But I cannot think of a better man to do the job in hand this year than you my friend. Good luck and to the rest of you, nothing but love, always.’
Jada had already made her feelings clear on Saturday, in a series of tweets, saying: ‘At the Oscars . . . people of colour are always welcomed to give out awards . . . even entertain, but we are rarely recognized for our artistic accomplishments.’