After much #OscarsSoWhite ado since nominees were announced six weeks ago, the annual Academy Awards ceremony is happening this Sunday evening.
Of course, black stars such as Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, along with black director Spike Lee, will not be there in protest over this year’s all-white acting nominees.
Academy Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx, however, isn’t buying into the controversy. In fact, he has two powerful words for whiners who complain about the lack of diversity among this year’s Oscar nominees: #ActBetter.
Via The Blaze:
Academy Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx took the stage at the American Black Film Festival Awards and hit the crowd with one of his numerous fortes — comedy.Foxx, who won a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Ray Charles in the 2004 movie “Ray,” dug right in to the controversy over an all-white group of nominees for major acting awards at the 2016 Oscars — the second year in a row it’s happened. “All these Oscar talks, I don’t even trip about that,” Fox began, according to US Weekly. “I mean, what’s the big deal? I was sitting at home with my Oscar, like ‘What’s all the hubbub?’”
Foxx, who was on stage Sunday to introduce producer Will Packer for the Distinguished ABFF Alumni Award, added that he “started calling Denzel [Washington], and we just Instagrammed our Oscars together.”
As the crowd laughed, the magazine added that Foxx called out a hashtag with two words that no one in the crowd is likely to forget: “#ActBetter.”
But Foxx didn’t leave the microphone without sealing his message with a serious observation stemming from his recent chat with Sidney Poitier, the first black Best Actor Oscar winner.
“In 1963, all he asked for was an opportunity to act,” Foxx told the audience, US Weekly said. “That’s all we have to do, opportunity. If you turn the camera on and say ‘OK, win an award, and action,’ we’ll all have taken, like, 10 steps back. It’s all about the art. Who cares about anything else?”
What a concept — suggesting awards be based on the merits of one’s performance, rather than some quota around the color of one’s skin. With the message that ensuring opportunity rather than outcome is the key to equality, you have to wonder whether Foxx is an honorary closet conservative.
In any case, bravo to Jamie Foxx for his common-sense words of wisdom. Let’s keep the Oscar award as a true honor reserved for the best of the best. God knows we don’t need yet another participation trophy.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]