Since last week's announcement of the 2016 Oscar nominations, there's been some concern over, for the second year in a row, no person of color being nominated in the four major acting categories, prompting the wildfire Twitter hashtag #OscarsSoWhite.
So far, celebrities from Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett-Smith have said they won't attend this year ceremony, after the Academy passed over black actors and directors from films such as "Creed," "Straight Outta Compton," "Beasts of No Nation," and "Concussion." Here's what people in Hollywood are saying about the controversy:
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" actress Lupita Nyong'o, on Instagram: "It has me thinking about unconscious prejudice and what merits prestige in our culture. The Awards should not dictate the terms of art in our modern society, but rather be a diverse reflection of the best of what our art has to offer today." Actor George Clooney, to Variety: "If you think back 10 years ago, the Academy was doing a better job. Think about how many more African Americans were nominated. I would also make the argument, I don't think it's a problem of who you're picking as much as it is: How many options are available to minorities in film, particularly in quality films? By the way, we're talking about African Americans. For Hispanics, it's even worse. We need to get better at this. We used to be better at it." "12 Years a Slave" director Steve McQueen, to the BBC: "I think racism has a lot to do with it, but also the whole idea of people not being adventurous enough in thinking outside of the box as such, of what they possibly think is the norm. It can't be about box office, because I think black actors and stories along those lines have been doing very, very well, obviously. So it's about executives in cinema and film studios, television, cable networks, giving those storylines and those actors a fair bite." "Selma" star David Oyelowo, to the BBC: "I am an Academy member and it doesn't reflect me. It doesn't reflect this nation." Director Michael Moore, to The Wrap: "The idea that we could go two years in a row, where 40 actors could be nominated and none of them were black, is just crazy. So if it will help to lend my name to what Spike and Jada are doing, I'm hoping to be a symbolic participant in this (boycott)." Actor Cuba Gooding Jr., to Variety: "You want it (the Oscars) to be diverse. You want the work to show. I wanted "Straight Outta Compton" to get something. But, you know, it's this conversation that makes people think harder when the nominations come around for next year." "Straight Outta Compton" producer Will Packer, on Facebook: "To my Academy colleagues, WE HAVE TO DO BETTER. Period. The reason the rest of the world looks at us like we have no clue is because in 2016 it's a complete embarrassment to say that the heights of cinematic achievement have only been reached by white people. I repeat -- it's embarrassing." Actor John Stamos, on Twitter: "Hollywood, this isn't just about diversity, it's about talent and you missed out on giving a thumbs up to both today." Actor John Lequizamo, on Twitter: "Come on not one Latin super talent nominated?!" Actress Rashida Jones, on Twiter: "smh. @TheAcademy needs to do better. Diversify your members!"
Aldis Hodge, from left, Neil Brown, Jr. Jason Mitchell, O'Shea Jackson, Jr. and Corey Hawkins in a scene from the film, "Straight Outta Compton." (Jaimie Trueblood/Universal Pictures via AP)
Tony Hicks writes celebrity commentary for the Bay Area News Group. Contact him at Facebook.com/BayAreaNewsGroup.TonyHicks or Twitter.com/tonyhicks67