Jada Pinkett Asks: Should People Of Color Stop Participating In Award Shows Altogether?

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It’s been four days since the very homogeneous 2016 Academy Award nominations were announced and the resulting hashtag #OscarsSoWhite was trending, but not everyone is over the lack of diversity that is to be displayed at this year’s upcoming ceremony. In fact, Jada Pinkett-Smith is toying with the idea of boycotting the film industry’s annual celebratory event in protest of its whitewashing.

In a message early Sunday morning, Pinkett wrote on Facebook:

At the Oscars…people of color are always welcomed to give out awards…even entertain, but we are rarely recognized for our artistic accomplishments. Should people of color refrain from participating all together? People can only treat us in the way in which we allow.
With much respect in the midst of deep disappointment,

That question sparked 8,600 comments and counting, with more than 7,500 respondents liking the very first remark which said:

I think that black people need to stop constantly looking for white approval. We already know what they think of us. Stop trying to constantly get their validation. It’s like having Stockholm Syndrome.

That sentiment echoes that of Britni Danielle who, after seeing this year’s list of nominees and noting the #OscarsSoWhite trending topic, questioned: “But did you really expect anything different?” For most of us that answer was no, which is why it’s funny Pinkett would suddenly be so disheartened by this behavior which has been a trend in the entertainment industry for years. Her outrage is also ironic given the fact that her husband just told The Hollywood Reporter “racism is rare” — a conclusion he came to, he said, after a discussion with his wife.

As for the question put on the table, I imagine the Academy and every other award show in this country would like nothing more than if people of color chose not to participate in their ceremonies and they wouldn’t have to pretend to celebrate diversity in the half-a–ed manner that’s become far too commonplace. What would be nice is if we’d place more value on our own award ceremonies, born out of the very issues we’re still combating today, instead of dismissing the likes of the BET, Soul Train, and NAACP award shows as lesser than and letting white people’s opinions of us whole so much weight.

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  1. I have said this elsewhere Jada needs to have the Kodak Theatre full of seats ..Last year Will Smith was asked if black people i.e Selma . David were snubbed and His hemmed and hawed and finally said ” Well the Academy has a right to vote for who they want ” Now that HE was snubbed his wife is up in arms , they are not standing up for BP they are standing up for themselves

    1. Meanwhile, Jaden is running around in a damn skirt and this is what she’s concerned with?? Her husband not getting nominated?? LOL she needs to have a seat in the corner somewhere..

    2. ^^^ THIS. Not to mention that this is the same woman who had a “rhetorical” question about whether we should put White Women on the cover of Black Women Magazines if we expected such from them, talked about hashtag #allgirlsrock versus Black Girls Rock, and decided to write a four page essay to take up for Justin Bieber’s and other pop singers bad behavior.

  2. And here we have these celebs that never speak up about black issues now talking about Oscar snubs b/c they didn’t get nominated. Will Smith said and I quote, ” And I have to say, I live with constant prejudice, but racism is actually rare — someone who thinks their race is superior,” … F*** the Smith’s..

  3. I ALWAYS snub the Oscars, the Golden Globes are better and more realistic imo. The Oscars historically snubs comedic performances (comedy-drama is a brilliant genre!), and black people. I watch the Globes, MTV Movie Awards and American Music Awards only. I usually don’t care for the Grammys or Oscars. And I’ll usually watch the opening monologue of the CMAs if only because it tends to be hilarious.

    1. i watch none of it, the only thing i’ll do is look for who wore what on the red carpet. I don’t support hollyweird by buying movie tickets or watching their award shows.

      1. Thank you….why complain and then support it anyway…aren’t Blacks sick of watching whites being socalled beautiful, brilliant, etc….whites do not for the most part watch Blacks on the small or big screen…why can’t Blacks do the same? What is so enthralling about them that we complain and complain yet can’t let it go?

        1. amen I agree, I almost never watch the Grammys or Oscars at all, I can’t remember ever watching them.

        2. I let go. If it’s a Hollywood movie, tv show, book, or even video game coming out where there isn’t significant representation of us, I skip it.

      2. the only time I go to the movie is with my wife and we only go to see what we think is going to be a good black movie or a movie with a leading black actor or actress the last one we saw was “Concussion” and it was a very good movie TO US.

  4. The Academy will never change because it doesn’t have to. It makes symbolic gestures like electing Cheryl Boone Isaacs as it’s first black President, hiring Chris Rock or Whoopie Goldberg to host and trotting out Sidney Poitier or Diahann Carroll to be presenters.

    Why make real changes when symbolic ones are so effective?

  5. How about we boycott Will Smith and Jada Pinkett bullshit?
    They only speak out if it will benefit them in the long run.
    A black and rich fuckery.

    We have more important things to boycott. Fuck the award shows.

    1. Correct. Waste of collective organizing energy. For what? What have those people done for use anyway? The conversation was about US seeing US on screen. Look at them making it about them.

  6. Since the start of Hollywood, that entity has promoted racial stereotypes, sexism, and other negative imagery of humanity. We see how the Oscars have snubbed qualified black people for decades. Also, during this time, there should be no naivete. Too many black celebrities on the one hand want to talk about post-racial mythologies about how racism is rare or it is not that bad, but when reality comes to them, then they want to question whether a boycott should come about against the Oscars. At the end of the day, we should not desire tokenism. We desire full liberation. Liberation means that discrimination is abolished and self-determination is promoted. It means that our human rights should be expressed in its full capacity. We should respect and promote our own black award shows that respect black excellence. I wasn’t planning on watching the Oscars anyway.

    1. Agreed. The black celebrities who become accomplices with white Hollywood carry a certain level of responsibility. Yes, we all go to the company events and do what must be done. But some of them go over and beyond the call of duty.

      Will Smith, “Racism is rare”. Jada Pinkett Smith, “All Lives Matter”, after receiving an award from Black Girls Rock, Taye Diggs, never speaking up for any black issue except to say it is a shame there aren’t enough roles for him. Etc.

      1. You have outlined the pattern of many of these black celebrities. Many of them suffered poverty, racism, and discrimination first hand. Yet, when they receive millions of dollars from the establishment, then many of them just go out and proclaim post racial rhetoric. Many people remembered Jada Pinkett Smith’s remarks and Taye Diggs’ antics too. That is why it is very important to instill consciousness in black youth. Black kids need education on STEM fields and how society works, so they can prepare to deal with a fallible system. White Hollywood’s actions are not surprising. They are what they are. Yet, black celebrities should know better and reject naivete. We believe in black empowerment which includes standing up for the interests of black people. .

        1. You speak so much truth. I can’t even add to it except to say I see that when I see people in our community follow these folks simply because they are celebs. You are so on it.

    2. It is the most integration minded negroes who succeed in this entertainment industry, which is part of the whole ‘new negro’ paradigm of safe black folks who do not question or challenge white supremacy. In past eras, we looked up to entertainers who performed in all white clubs and theaters, but why didn’t they boycott these establishments? And when they got their token awards for playing mammies and sambos we applauded. Why allow brown paper bag tests for casting? But in hindsight we can all see that this was nothing to be celebrating. All of this basically has instilled a white is right mentality among black folks in entertainment which can be seen still to this day, not to mention the higher proportion of interracial relationships among entertainers going back many years as well.

      1. You’re right that tokenism and the overtly disrespectful nature of Hollywood is fundamentally anti -black.

        1. You’re right that tokenism and the overtly disrespectful nature of Hollywood is fundamentally anti -black.

          This^^ all day in Hollywood.

  7. I’ve been boycotting these white-washed awards shows since the 1980’s. Back in the day, they celebrated the richness and culture of Black music (I never watched the Oscars except for, on rare occasions, when they paid tribute to someone Black), but I used to ALWAYS watch the Grammy’s and the American Music Awards. Now, for the most part, they celebrate our music when done by Whites. I will not support it, and I think much of the music today sucks anyway. I don’t like the BET Hip Hop awards because I don’t like that genre of music or the ignorance that it brings.

    Will and Jada are lying. They know good and well racism exists in Hollywood, and like Truth said, at it’s genesis, Hollywood has always been a racist and discriminatory entity. Just because Will might get roles doesn’t mean the overall system isn’t screwed. A blind person can see this.

  8. I don’t watch these awards shows but basically catch highlights online of the actors/actresses I like. But my thing is why is Jada acting surprised? This is typical of the Oscars. Yet, she was the one asking “should we (as Black women) share our magazine covers with white women…side eye. So because Will was snubbed all of a sudden it is boycott and protest when Black and Brown Hollywood should have been snubbed these awards shows that basically praises their white counterparts.

  9. Jada acts like she’s a spineless politician running for office in that she’s sending out feelers about how people feel instead of concretely stating her position. Do what YOU think you should do Jada and quit with the wishy-washy questions. I thought her husband said racism doesn’t exist so what is she worried about anyway?

  10. I see folks here have the same issues with the Smiths that I have. JPS may have some points, but she and Will get all “I’m black and I’m black and I’m black.” when it benefits them.

    Didn’t she question why we didn’t put white women on the cover of the hand full of minority magazines that are still left in circulation? Didn’t they give her a Black Girls Rock award and she promptly posted some pic of her saying “all lives matter”?

    Now that Will isn’t nominated we boycotting? This is an issue, yes. But she and Will stopped showing up to black award events consistently years ago. They all get to a certain level in mainstream and we don’t see them anymore.

    No thank you. I don’t want to hear from people who dip in and out of the community when it benefits them. You will never use my blackness that way.

    I respect their hustle, but they can’t tell me anything about integrity, honesty, and keeping it real.

  11. I could take her seriously if she did not wait until Will did not get his much anticipated Oscar nominations to bring this up. Where was this sentiment in prior years when this same issue was discussed? Do will and Jada still go to the BET awards? Would Jada have released this statement if Will had been nominated this year? Her points would still be valid if Will had been nominated because he is just one black person out of many in Hollywood who deserve recognition. However, I do not believe we would have heard a word from Jada if Will had received a nomination.

  12. miss jada might take a moment to speak with chris rock about his participation in the oscar ceremonies and his willingness to provide the entertainment; and, from the comments i’ve read on other sites, commenters who proclaim their whiteness advise they do not care about and would not miss black participation.

    1. Unfortunately, Chris probably already signed a contract many months ago. Maybe even a year. But yeah, why do we need to keep going at all?

      1. that’s a good question. i read on this site that spike lee was ‘given’ an honorary oscar for his work in the film industry. he’s boycotting the oscars; but, will he keep his honorary oscar. does it mean that much to him.

  13. I don’t care about the lack of so call diversity at the Oscars because it’s the white folk awards and it’s their right to reward whom they see fit and if the black actor and actress don’t like it they have to talent, resources and the ability to organize, promote and put on their own Academy Award event.

  14. She is probably upset because Will’s film was not recognized. Usually she is down with the Hollywood scene. The Smiths are black when it’s convenient for them.

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