Former Fresh Prince Star Janet Hubert Slams Jada Pinkett Smith's Oscars Boycott
Former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Janet Hubert denounced actress Jada Pinkett Smith for her boycott of the 2016 Oscars.
“I want to say something to Jada Pinkett Smith asking other black actors to boycott the Oscars. First of all, Miss Thing: Does your man not have a mouth of his own with which to speak?" Hubert, who played Will Smith’s Aunt Viv on the show, said in a four-minute video posted to YouTube.
The actress has had a long-running feud with Will Smith, who is married to Jada Pinkett Smith.
"The second thing, girlfriend, there's a lot of s--- going on in the world that you all don't seem to recognize. People are dying. Our boys are being shot left and right. People are hungry. People are starving. People are trying to pay bills," Hubert also said in the video.
"And you're talking about some motherf---ing actors and Oscars. It just ain't that deep."
The call for an Oscars boycott intensified after Jada Pinkett Smith posted a video on her Facebook page. In the video, she addressed Chris Rock, who will be hosting the awards next month.
“Hey Chris, I will not be at the Academy Awards, and I won't be watching, but I can't think of a better man to do the job at hand this year than you my friend. Good luck,” she said in the clip.
Jada, the wife of Will Smith, who was snubbed for an Oscar nomination for his widely praised performance in Concussion, released the video Monday.
“The academy has the right to acknowledge whomever they choose, to invite whomever they choose and now I think it is our responsibility now to make the change,” she said.
She and filmmaker Spike Lee say they will be boycotting the Academy Awards over a lack of diversity among the nominations.
Spike Lee announced his decision on Instagram.
The Do the Right Thing director wrote: "How Is It Possible For The 2nd Consecutive Year All 20 Contenders Under The Actor Category Are White?And Let's Not Even Get Into The Other Branches. 40 White Actors In 2 Years And No Flava At All. We Can't Act?!"
Meanwhile, there is also speculation over whether Chris Rock will drop out as host of the Academy Awards.
"Pressure on Rock to boycott Oscars," says Monday's Daily News.
Rock said nothing about the furor when he appeared at an event to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Harlem on Monday. Instead, he stuck to the script and read a work by the writer James Baldwin.
Rock's only comment about the controversy was this funny tweet: "The #oscars. The white BET Awards."
The Academy Awards ceremony is just six weeks away and the pressure on Rock is getting intense - although insiders insist he will not back out.
A possible insight into Rock's thinking came from Matt Lauer, who was courtside with the comedian at the Knicks game Monday night.
Actor David Oyelowo - himself snubbed last year for his portrayal of Dr.King in the movie, Selma, - says: "The academy has a problem. It's a problem that needs to be solved."
Following the uproar, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs issued a statement saying: "I am both heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion."
The LA Times says Academy members are 93 percent white.
Isaacs says the Academy will take "dramatic steps to alter the makeup of our membership ... To bring about much-needed diversity."