Will and Jada Smith Skipping Oscars

The 88th Academy Awards will take place Feb. 28. Photo Credit / Flickr
The 88th Academy Awards will take place Feb. 28. Photo Credit / Flickr
The 88th Academy Awards will take place Feb. 28. Photo Credit / Flickr

The 88th Academy Awards will take place Feb. 28.
Photo Credit / Flickr

By Lauren Shook
A&E Editor

The 88th Academy Awards ceremony is drawing closer, and the tension has been building for some time now.

When most people hear of the Oscars, they picture a classy evening full of elegantly dressed celebrities.

I can’t lie, in the past I’ve totally looked forward to seeing the fashion displayed on the actresses attending the ceremony.

But there’s a much bigger issue to address, and it isn’t which designer created the dress for the winner of best actress in a leading role.

The lack of diversity among nominees for the Oscars is nothing new. In fact, this has been a trend for many years.

Will Smith is among the celebrities taking a stand against the lack of diversity in the Academy Awards.

This year he is boycotting the Oscars, and is making an important statement about the entertainment industry.

While some may see his absence from the ceremony as petty, I have to applaud his decision to make a statement. When viewing the list of nominees this year, it is pretty clear that the contenders aren’t very diverse.

I’m definitely not saying the actors and actresses who were nominated don’t deserve it.

Though I do think it is important to acknowledge the world of entertainment’s tendencies to neglect minorities.

Smith has received a lot of attention due to his stance on the Academy Awards, but I don’t see his boycott as an act of malice.

He’s simply trying to draw attention to an issue that shouldn’t be hidden from the public.

The controversy was addressed on The Graham Norton Show, where Smith made an important statement about our country.

“For me it’s more about putting my hand up and reminding my community, the Hollywood community, that we have to lead” said Smith.

He proceeded to say that diversity is what makes America great, and I couldn’t agree more.

We live in a country that is made up of so many races and religions, that they should all be acknowledged.

There is such a unique combination of people in this country that to leave any group out seems to be a huge disservice.

Each person has their own unique characteristics and talents to bring forward, and Hollywood plays a huge part in showing this to the rest of the country.

It is important that they set an example, by showcasing the diversity that exists within America.

Will Smith isn’t the only celebrity boycotting the Oscars, though. Jada Pinkett Smith posted a video announcing her absence from the ceremony as well.

Mark Ruffalo, nominated for Actor in a Supporting Role, stated that although he would be attending the Oscars, he agreed with the message the boycott was sending.

This year’s host, Chris Rock, has also been receiving pressure from celebrities regarding the boycott.

Overall, I think the effort to draw attention to the lack of diversity at the Academy Awards is an important movement that brings light to a larger issue.

It’s time for the entertainment industry to really make an effort to set an example and diversify.

I know I’ll definitely be watching the Oscars this year to see how Rock addresses the boycott at the ceremony.

Email Lauren at:
lshook2@live.esu.edu

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