Actress Jada Pinkett Smith and director Spike Lee will boycott this year’s Academy Awards over nominees’ lack of racial diversity.
Pinkett Smith made the announcement in a video posted to Facebook early Monday morning.
“Begging for acknowledgment or even asking diminishes dignity and diminishes power,” she said. “And we are a dignified people, we are powerful, and let’s not forget it.”
Lee echoed the sentiment on Instagram Monday morning, explaining that he and his wife would not attend the award show because the contenders for best actor, best actress, best supporting actor and best supporting actress are all white for the second year in a row.
The “Chi-Raq” director quoted Martin Luther King, Jr., who said, “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”
Chris Rock, who will host the Feb. 28 award show, called the Oscars the “White BET Awards” on Twitter.