Singer/actor Tyrese is stepping up his call to boycott the Oscars next month (Feb16) over a lack of diversity among the top nominees, insisting “enough is enough”.
The Furious 7 star has sided with the likes of director Spike Lee, actress Jada Pinkett Smith, and rapper Snoop Dogg in condemning Academy voters for failing to recognise African-American talent in the main acting categories after the shortlist was announced last week (14Jan16).
Tyrese has been urging ceremony host Chris Rock to pull out of the event to “make a statement”, and now he has issued a call to action to everyone invited to Hollywood’s big night, asking them to consider snubbing the Oscars in a bid to “affect change”.
“I would just say this: at the end of the day, enough is enough,” the 37-year-old insisted during an appearance on America’s Today show on Wednesday (20Jan16). “When you have talent and you have gifts, it’s not that you seek the validation of non-blacks and say, ‘I’m nothing until you validate me (with an Oscar nod)’, it’s just a matter of what’s fair is what’s fair.”
“When you go to the BET Awards, we nominate Sam Smith and Robin Thicke, because they’re putting out great records,” Tyrese continued, about the inclusion of Caucasian soul stars at the Black Entertainment Television prizegiving. “Adele is gonna end up with nominations at the BET Awards, so folks are not being left out, but, at the end of the day, if you’re bringing your best game, and you’re bringing your best to the table as an actor, an actress, a filmmaker, writer, producer, you should be recognised (by the Academy) to have the opportunity to win the most significant award there is in the movie field like everyone else.”
Underlining his thoughts about protesting by skipping the Oscars, he added, “Chris Rock should definitely step down, and everybody whos thinking of attending, if you’re friends with African-Americans, if you love ’em the way we know you do, get outta there! Make a statement! That’s how you affect change.
“Don’t keep showing up, acting as if you don’t know what’s going on, thinking about you. Think about the future generation. We cannot affect change if we don’t stand up for something.”
Tyrese’s impassioned comments were made shortly after Spike clarified his reasons for shunning the 28 February (16) awards show, insisting he “never used the word boycott”.
“All I said was we’re not coming (to the Oscars), and that’s it, and then I gave the reasons,” Spike explained on U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America. “So I never used the word boycott… I’m not going. My wife’s not going. Everyone else can do what they want to do.”
The filmmaker, who received an honorary Oscar at the Governor’s Ball in November (15), also insisted the boss behind the awards ceremony, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, has been trying to make changes to the voting system long before the #OscarsSoWhite campaign was launched following the controversial nominations announcement earlier this month (Jan16).