Director Spike Lee and actress Jada Pinkett Smith vow to boycott the Academy Awards ceremony after black actors are shut out of the nominations. The Academy says it needs to do more to promote diversity. Edward Baran reports.
Director Spike Lee and actress Jada Pinkett Smith said on Monday they will boycott next month's Academy Awards ceremony because black actors were shut out of nominations. All the 20 lead and supporting actor and actress nominees at this year's Oscars are white, for the second straight year. It's led to the revival of the Twitter hashtag #OscarsSoWhite that emerged in 2015. Lee was awarded an honorary Oscar in November. He tweeted "40 White Actors In 2 Years And No Flava At All. We Can't Act?!" Pinkett Smith said she would skip the ceremony after her husband Will, who stars in the football injury drama "Concussion" was snubbed. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who is African American, said that while the Academy which awards the Oscars had made changes in recent years to drive diversity, "the change is not coming as fast as we would like." She called for "big changes," saying she was "heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion" in this year's crop of nominees. Another black actor left out of this year's nominations is Idris Elba. His performance in 'Beast of No Nation' received widespread critical acclaim. He called for the media industry to "think outside of the box" when it comes to casting in a speech to British parliament. The Oscars will be held in LA on February 28.