6 Rappers Speak Out on 2016 Oscars Controversy
If you're a cinephile, you already know the controversy surrounding the 2016 Oscars has hit a fever pitch. For the uninformed, once the Academy Awards revealed each and every nominee to be white on Jan. 14, hashtag activism on social media began with #OscarsSoWhite, a boycott of the ceremony was in place and outrage from fans to celebrities was heard. This year has sparked a controversy like no other with rappers from Ice Cube to 50 Cent sounding off on the subject.
Since no person of color is up for an award, the Academy has been under fire, which prompted the President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, to release an official statement about the lack of diversity in this year’s nominees.
"While we celebrate their extraordinary achievements, I am both heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion," Isaacs shared in her statement. " This is a difficult but important conversation, and it’s time for big changes."
Following the negativity, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Board of Governors approved "substantive changes designed to make the Academy’s membership, its governing bodies, and its voting members significantly more diverse" in the years to come. "The Academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up,” Isaacs said in a statement. “These new measures regarding governance and voting will have an immediate impact and begin the process of significantly changing our membership composition.”
The decision may be too little, too late for the likes of Will Smith, who is boycotting the Oscars, which air Feb. 28, with wife Jada Pinkett, but the move toward the Academy embracing diversity proves their voices are certainly being heard.