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Al Sharpton calls for Oscar boycott over dearth of diversity

The Rev. Al Sharpton has called for a

The Rev. Al Sharpton has called for a national "TV Tune Out" of the Oscars on Feb. 28 due to the lack of diversity among nominees. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

The Rev. Al Sharpton joined a growing list of Hollywood elite who will boycott this year’s Oscars and is calling on the public to join him.

Sharpton’s group, the National Action Network, called Tuesday for a national “TV Tune Out” campaign of the Feb. 28 ceremony over the lack of diversity among its nominees. The group said the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences failed on its promise to promote more films made by minorities.

“There’s only one thing that Hollywood understands and that’s dollars and ratings,” NAN said in a statement. “ This will send the message that diversity in the film industry must be more than a hollow promise.”

Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee both said they’ll be boycotting the show this year. Actor Idris Elba also spoke about the problems for minority actors in a speech at Parliament Monday.

Sharpton spoke with Lee before the campaign’s announcement, according to a spokesman.

Sharpton will convene meetings and conference calls with other activists and clergy to boost the “tune out” over the next few days.

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