In case you missed it, on Sunday, Feb. 28, Chris Rock helmed the 88th Academy Awards where he used his platform as host to address the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, including Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s call to boycott the prestigious ceremony.
“What happened this year? People went nuts. Spike [Lee] got mad. Jada went mad. Will went mad. Everyone went mad!” Rock said about all the celebs wanting to protest the Oscars. “Jada said she’s not coming. I was like, ‘Isn’t she on TV show?’ Jada’s gonna boycott the Oscars? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited,” said Rock at the top of the awards show.
“Her man Will was not nominated for Concussion. I get it. You get mad. It’s not fair that Will was this good and didn’t get nominated. You’re right,” he said. “It’s also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for Wild Wild West!”
Meanwhile, Smith seemed to be unbothered by the whole thing. The 47-year-old was all smiles as he was spotted leaving the set of his upcoming film, Collateral Beauty, in New York on Monday, Feb. 29. There, the Focus actor flashed his megawatt smile, signed autographs and snapped a few selfies with fans. At one point, he even threw up a peace sign for the photographers.
As you may recall, Smith was snubbed for his role in Concussion, which pushed his wife to call for Black actors to opt out of attending the event. “Today is Martin Luther King’s birthday, and I can’t help but ask the question: Is it time that people of color recognize how much power, influence, that we have amassed, that we no longer need to ask to be invited anywhere?” she said in a video posted to Facebook.
“Begging for acknowledgement, or even asking, diminishes dignity and diminishes power. And we are a dignified people, and we are powerful,” she said. “So let’s let the Academy do them, with all grace and love. And let’s do us, differently.”
The Smiths did not stand alone. Lee Daniels, Spike Lee and the Rev. Al Sharpton also made a call to sit out the annual event.
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