Lupita Nyong’o and Stacey Dash are weighing in on the #OscarsSoWhite conversation. And Stacey is calling out Jada Pinkett Smith for boycotting this year's awards ceremony. Meanwhile, Idris Elba releases the full text to his powerful diversity speech he gave at the UK’s Parliament. Get it all inside…
Diversity in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the hot topic of discussion right now. More and more celebs are starting to speak out.
Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o is now weighing in on the lack of diversity in this year’s Oscar nominees, joining stars like Jada Pinkett Smith, Spike Lee and others.
The Kenyan beauty, who won an Oscar in 2014, opens up about her disappointment in the Academy Awards for their lack of nominating actors/actress of color. She posted a message via her Instagram account saying:
“I am disappointed by the lack of inclusion in this year’s Academy Award nominations," said Lupita. "It has me thinking about unconscious prejudice and what merits prestige in our culture. The Awards should not dictate the terms of art in modern society, but rather be a diverse reflection of the best of what our art has to offer today.”
She said she’s standing with her peers to help make a change for the better. She added,“I am standing with my peers who are calling for change in expanding the stories that are told and recognition of the people who tell them.”
Being new in Hollywood, it's refreshing to see Lupita being so open and speaking up on issues like diversity.
Another celeb speaking out...
FOX news contributor and birthday girl Stacey Dash -- who has a short new bob which doesn't help her "serious news person" image like we're sure she thought it would -- is also opening up about diversity in Hollywood. But y’all know chick is ruffling some feathers, per usual.
Making a return to the network after a suspension for comments she made about President Barack Obama, Stacey throws shots at Jada Pinkett Smith calling her a hypocrite for boycotting the Oscars.
“I think it’s ludicrous,” she explained. “Because we have to make up our minds. Either we want to have segregation or integration. If we don’t want segregation then we need to get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards and the [NAACP] Image Awards, where you are only awarded if you are black.”
Oh? Stacey then goes on to say there shouldn’t be a Black History Month either.
Fox News host Steve Doocy then asked, “So you say there should not be a BET channel?” Stacey responds, “No, just like there shouldn’t be a Black History Month. You know, we’re Americans. Period. That’s it.”
Maybe she should tell the Academy just that...we're ALL Americans. So stop overlooking the equally talented Americans who happen to have brown skin.
The "Clueless" star (see what we did there?) said there shouldn’t be a Black History Month because we don’t have a White History Month. Is this basic ass, clueless rhetoric really coming from a grown woman, regardless of political affiliation? We're aware you think racism doesn't exist. Will Smith didn't either until he was left out of Oscar contention.
Peep her discussion above. By the way, Spike Lee commented that he never used the word "boycott".
Sexy actor Idris Elba presented a powerful speech to the UK’s Parliament recently to discuss the lack of representation and a need for greater diversity in entertainment. His speech is very fitting for all the diversity debate on this side of the pond. Obviously, it’s not just here in the States.
The Beasts of No Nation actor, who recently won a Critics Choice Award for his role in “Luther,” spoke at the House of Commons to demand the need for diversity in front and behind the camera.
He said, “I’m here to talk about diversity. Diversity in the modern world is more than just skin color– it’s gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, social background, and – most important of all, as far as I’m concerned- diversity of thought.”
Below are a few excerpts from his speech:
People in the TV world often aren’t the same as people in the real world. And there’s an even bigger gap between people who make TV, and people who watch TV. I should know, I live in the TV world. And although there’s a lot of reality TV, TV hasn’t caught up with reality.
Change is coming, but it’s taking its sweet time.
1. Because the TV world helps SHAPE the real world. It’s also a window on our world. But when we look out the window, none of us live in Downton Abbey.
2. Because the creative industries are the foundation of Britain’s future economy. You guys want to safeguard Britain’s economy, right? That’s your job?
3. If you want to safeguard the economy, you have to safeguard the
Creative Industries; and they rely on TALENT.
Talent is our lifeblood – we can’t afford to WASTE it, or give it away.
But when you don’t reflect the real world, too much talent is trashed.
Talent is everywhere, opportunity isn’t.
And talent can’t reach opportunity.
In other words, if I wanted to star in a British drama like Luther, then I’d have to go to a country like America. Now some people might say “but back then, Britain hardly had any black detectives, so how could you expect us to have a TV show about one? How could you expect the BBC to have the imagination to put Luther on TV? …because it’s TELEVISION?! And the other thing was, because I never saw myself or my culture on TV, I stopped watching TV. Instead I decided to just go out and become TV.
If I aspired to be on a level with the Denzil Washingtons, and the Robert de Niro’s, I had to reinvent myself.
I had to transform the way industry saw me. I had to climb out of the box.
In other words I didn’t go to America because I couldn’t GET parts. I went to America because I was running OUT of parts. They were all the same sort of parts.
If young people don’t see themselves on TV, they just switch off the TV, and log on. End of.
They create their own channels. Their own audience. They become their own CEOs. They don’t need us.
They weren’t sorting out drama auditions for YTS kids… But back to my point: in a funny way, broadcasting needs a Magna Carta. We need to start doing things more fairly. It’s not so much a Peace treaty; more an Opportunity Treaty. We need to count up what everybody has, see the lay of the land, and see who has which careers in TV? Who makes TV? Who’s allowed ON TV? And when they get the opportunity, which roles do they play, both on and offscreen. Are black people often playing petty criminals?
Are women always playing the love interest or talking about men? Are gay people always stereotyped?
Are disabled people hardly ever seen? Do some people have their careers taken away on a whim?
Is their talent unfairly ignored? So yeah, back to the box; Back to the stereo-typing.
The problem is the GAP between the dream and reality. That gap is what Martin Luther King set out to fill with his dream. To champion diversity is to champion the American dream. It’s to say that if you work hard and you have great talent, you will have the same chance as anyone else to succeed.
YES to all of it.
You can read his full speech here.
Jada Pinkett Smith thanks the Academy Awards for a quick response and says she's looking forward to the future. Guess we will see what she actually does to help fight the discrimination she's so passionate about.
Photos: Getty/Idris' IG