22 Jan – Following the recent announcement of the 2016 Oscars nominations, social media has been buzzing with the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite.
This is in response to the glaring lack of diversity in the awards show list of nominees for this year.
While some fans and key industry players alike may have rejoiced that the movies they are rooting for managed to get onto the list, some were also left disappointed with the "white" majority of the nominees.
The likes of Idris Elba, George Clooney and David Oyelowo are some of the prominent figures that have voiced out against the exclusion of people of colour in the prestigious awards show.
Actress Jada Pinkett Smith has also taken to Twitter to express, "At the Oscars...people of colour are always welcomed to give out awards...even entertain, but we are rarely recognised for our artistic accomplishments. Should people of colour 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."
Her sentiment was later echoed by director Spike Lee, who last year received the Academy Honorary Award, saying that he and his wife, writer-producer Tonya, will not be attending the ceremony this year.
The director has so far received two nominations for his works, though that was almost two decades ago, namely in 1990 (Best Original Screenplay – "Do the Right Thing") and 1998 (Best Documentary (Feature) – "4 Little Girls").
Meanwhile, Will Smith has decided to stand by his wife's side and declined to show up at this year's Oscars as well.
"My wife's not going. It would be awkward to show up with Charlize [Theron]", the actor joked during his recent appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America".
Many expected Smith to be nominated for his role in "Concussion", and were rightfully offended when the actor was snubbed.
Smith was last nominated for Best Actor back in 2007 for "The Pursuit of Happyness", his second following a nomination in the same category in 2002 for "Ali".
Fellow actor Mark Ruffalo ("Spotlight") has also given his answer to the debacle. Though he posted on Twitter that he will be attending, he stressed that it is "in support of the victims of clergy Sexual Abuse and good journalism".
He also expressed his support for the boycott: "I do support the Oscar Ban movement's position that the nominations do not reflect the diversity of our community."
"The Oscar Ban movement reflects a larger discussion about racism in the criminal justice system," he added.
2016 Oscars is set to be hosted by actor-comedian Chris Rock, who is returning for his second stint on the Oscars stage after 11 long years. However, Rock is venturing into rocky terrain here should he continue with his hosting plan.
Rock is now facing pressure as artistes such as 50 Cent and Tyrese Gibson ("Fast and Furious") have called for him to withdraw his role as the show's host.
The 88th Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California this 28 February.
(Photo source: CHRIS PIZZELLO/INVISION/AP)