Jada Pinkett Smith is taking a stand against the Academy. After learning that no black actors or films are nominated this year, the "Gotham" star spoke out online about her decision not to participate in the 88th annual Academy Awards Monday, asking other black actors to join her. Actress Janet Hubert, who appeared in the '90s sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," claims Smith's decision is not driven by racial inequality, but rather the fact that she and her husband, Will Smith, were not nominated for awards.
Hubert, 60, took to Facebook to share a video in which she addressed Jada, 44, as "Miss Thing" before insinuating that she had been speaking for Will, 47. She then suggested that it was "ironic" that Jada had amassed much of her fortune "from the very people you're talking about boycotting." The retired actress closed out her video by taking a trip down memory lane, reminding Jada of a time she approached Will, her former "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" co-star, and suggested they rise up and ask to be paid the same as actors on "white shows." Hubert claims Will's response was, "'my deal is my deal. And your deal is your deal.'"
"You know some of us have got mortgages to pay, we got bills to pay, we have bigger s--- to worry about than the Oscars," she said.
Jada isn't the only one frustrated with the Academy's lack of inclusion. As was reported by People magazine, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs wrote that she was "both heartbroken and frustrated" that black actors weren't among those nominated for awards this year. She added that the Academy was taking important steps to "alter the makeup of our membership" and will be conducting a review of their current recruitment process in the hopes of uncovering their major issues.
A statement from Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs pic.twitter.com/Nqhgc7sbqG
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) January 19, 2016
As International Business Times previously reported, esteemed director Spike Lee has also decided to boycott the 2016 Oscars. On Monday, he shared an Instagram post using the hashtag "#OscarsSoWhite." Lee, 58, opened the post by quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and asking how it was possible that for a second year in a row all 20 actors nominated for awards were white. He went on to say that he had no issue with Boone Isaacs, but would not be attending the ceremony.
Outrage over the Oscar nominations began Jan. 14 with the release of the Academy's nominations. Twitter feeds were quickly flooded with tweets featuring the "#OscarsSoWhite" hashtag, which initially rose to popularity in 2015 to discuss the same issue.