Here’s How Celebrities Have Reacted To The #OscarsSoWhite Controversy

oscars award shows 2016

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For the second year in a row, there were no people of color nominated for Academy Awards in any of the major categories, prompting social media to react with a continuation of last year’s #OscarsSoWhite campaign: #OscarsStillSoWhite.

The most frustrating part? It’s hard to claim that Straight Outta Compton, Beasts of No Nation, Concussion, and other movies with black actors from 2016 were undeserving of nominations.

Jada Pinkett Smith, her husband Will Smith, and filmmaker Spike Lee have said they plan to boycott this year’s Academy Awards, and many others have taken to social media or media outlets to express their disappointment with the lack of diversity in the Oscar nominations.

Jada Pinkett Smith

Will Smith

“My wife’s not going. It would be awkward for me to show up with Charlize [Theron],” Smith said on Good Morning America. “We’ve discussed it. We’re a part of this community but at this current time we’re uncomfortable to stand there and say that this is okay.”

Lupita Nyong’o

George Clooney

Clooney told Variety he is disappointed with the Academy. “If you think back 10 years ago, the Academy was doing a better job,” he said. “Think about how many more African Americans were nominated. I would also make the argument, I don’t think it’s a problem of who you’re picking as much as it is: How many options are available to minorities in film, particularly in quality films?”

Don Cheadle

Viola Davis

“The problem is with the Hollywood movie-making system,” Davis told Entertainment Tonight. “How many black films are being produced every year? How are they being distributed? The films that are being made, are the big-time producers thinking outside of the box in terms of how to cast the role? Can you cast a black woman in that role? Can you cast a black man in that role?”

“You could probably line up all the A-list black actresses out there [and] they probably don’t make what one A-list white woman makes in one film,” she continued. “That’s the problem. You can change the Academy, but if there are no black films being produced, what is there to vote for?”

Will Packer, Producer of Straight Outta Compton

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Helen Mirren

“I think it’s unfair to attack the Academy,” the actress said in a new interview with the U.K.’s Channel 4 News. “It just so happened this year, it went that way.” She continued that Idris Elba, who won a SAG Award for his work in Beasts of No Nation but was snubbed by the Academy, was not nominated because not enough people actually watched it. “He wasn’t [nominated] because not enough people saw or wanted to see a film about child soldiers,” she said.

Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Academy President

Isaacs released a statement after nominations came out. “I’d like to acknowledge the wonderful work of this year’s nominees,” she wrote. “While we celebrate their extraordinary achievements, I am both heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion. This is a difficult but important conversation, and it’s time for big changes. The Academy is taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup of our membership.  In the coming days and weeks we will conduct a review of our membership recruitment in order to bring about much-needed diversity in our 2016 class and beyond.”

At very least, we’re starting a conversation that needs to be had.

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