"Straight Outta Compton" producer writes open-letter to Oscar voters dealing with lack of diversity

Meanwhile, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Spike Lee are calling for a potential boycott of the awards ceremony

In the aftermath of the Academy Award nominations late last week, with another round of "white-washing" being accused at the Academy voting members, Hollywood is reacting loudly.

Straight Outta Compton producer Will Packer took to Facebook to write an open letter to the people behind this year's Oscar nominations, starting with congratulating those who did get nominated, before moving on to the black cast and crew members who were left without any nominations.


I want to congratulate all of the Academy Award nominees. These people are quite deserving of being recognized as the...

Posted by Will Packer on Friday, 15 January 2016

While most musical biopics manage to garner a lot of Academy attention - the likes of Ray or Walk The Line were all heavily nominated - but despite becoming a surprising box office hit ($200m on a $28m budget), Straight Outta Compton was only nominated for one Oscar.

Meanwhile, actress Jada Pinkett-Smith, whose husband Will Smith failed to be nominated for his work in Concussion, took to Twitter to discuss the topic, and questioning whether black actors and crew should boycott the ceremony altogether.

This was followed up by a video on Facebook which confirmed that she would indeed by boycotting the ceremony.

We must stand in our power!

We must stand in our power.

Posted by Jada Pinkett Smith on Monday, 18 January 2016


Similarly, director Spike Lee took to Instagram to announce he would not be attending, despite receiving an honourary Oscar in November.

"[H]ow is it possible for the second consecutive year all 20 contenders under the acting category are white? And let’s not even get into the other branches. Forty white actors in two years and no flava at all. We can’t act?! WTF!!”


#OscarsSoWhite... Again. I Would Like To Thank President Cheryl Boone Isaacs And The Board Of Governors Of The Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts And Sciences For Awarding Me an Honorary Oscar This Past November. I Am Most Appreciative. However My Wife, Mrs. Tonya Lewis Lee And I Will Not Be Attending The Oscar Ceremony This Coming February. We Cannot Support It And Mean No Disrespect To My Friends, Host Chris Rock and Producer Reggie Hudlin, President Isaacs And The Academy. But, 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?! WTF!! It's No Coincidence I'm Writing This As We Celebrate The 30th Anniversary Of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's Birthday. Dr. King Said "There Comes A Time When One Must Take A Position That Is Neither Safe, Nor Politic, Nor Popular But He Must Take It Because Conscience Tells Him It's Right". For Too Many Years When The Oscars Nominations Are Revealed, My Office Phone Rings Off The Hook With The Media Asking Me My Opinion About The Lack Of African-Americans And This Year Was No Different. For Once, (Maybe) I Would Like The Media To Ask All The White Nominees And Studio Heads How They Feel About Another All White Ballot. If Someone Has Addressed This And I Missed It Then I Stand Mistaken. As I See It, The Academy Awards Is Not Where The "Real" Battle Is. It's In The Executive Office Of The Hollywood Studios And TV And Cable Networks. This Is Where The Gate Keepers Decide What Gets Made And What Gets Jettisoned To "Turnaround" Or Scrap Heap. This Is What's Important. The Gate Keepers. Those With "The Green Light" Vote. As The Great Actor Leslie Odom Jr. Sings And Dances In The Game Changing Broadway Musical HAMILTON, "I WANNA BE IN THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENS". People, The Truth Is We Ain't In Those Rooms And Until Minorities Are, The Oscar Nominees Will Remain Lilly White. (Cont'd)

A photo posted by Spike Lee (@officialspikelee) on