Whoopi Goldberg: ‘Boycotting the Oscars Is Slap in the Face for Host Chris Rock’

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Whoopi Goldberg has urged those upset about the lack of diversity among the 2016 Oscar nominees not to boycott the Academy Awards ceremony, because it’s disrespectful to host Chris Rock.

Filmmaker Spike Lee and actress Jada Pinkett Smith announced this week they will not be attending or watching next month’s ceremony after Academy voters failed to nominate any African-Americans or ethnic minorities for the major categories.

Director Michael Moore has since also joined Lee and Pinkett Smith in vowing to skip Hollywood’s big night in protest, while Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, has promised to review Academy membership to ensure there is a more representative mix of voters in future.

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However, Whoopi claims the issue does not simply lie with voters, as there is a general lack of financing for the production of films made by, and starring, talents of other ethnicities.

Addressing the topic on The View Tuesday, the Oscar winner and Academy member also explained her belief that a boycott is not the way to tackle what she insists is a much wider problem in the movie industry.

“Why is this a conversation that we only have once a year?” Whoopi questioned. “Every year, we get all fired up, and then the rest of the year, nobody says anything.”

“Chris Rock is the host of the Academy Awards, and so to boycott him seems just as bad as what everybody’s saying (about the nominations controversy),” she argued. “We have this conversation every year and it pisses me off. It pisses me off because… there’s not a lot of support for the little companies who [sic] make movies that may be more diverse than anything else, but you can’t bitch about it just on Oscar time.”

She continued:

“It’s not that the people nominating are too white; they’re not looking at a movie and saying, ‘Oh, that’s very white’ (or) ‘I’m not gonna nominate that black movie.’ The problem is, the people who can be helping to make movies that have blacks and Latinos and all that, that money doesn’t come to you because the idea is that there’s no place for black movies (in the mainstream market)…”

Goldberg went on to insist casting directors are also partly to blame for failing to include more minority actors in blockbusters like The Avengers, stating, “I would like to be one of those people saving the earth, but they’re not coming to me…!”

She concluded, “Boycotting doesn’t work and it’s also a slap in the face of Chris Rock, and I find that also wrong, so I’m not gonna boycott, but I’m gonna continue to bitch, as I have all year long, because I’m tired of seeing movies where no one is represented except a bit of the population… You wanna boycott something? Don’t go see the movies that don’t have your representation in. That’s the boycott you want. But anything else is on us (producers, filmmakers and industry chiefs).”

The Academy Awards take place on February 28.

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