“We cannot support it,” Lee wrote, “… 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!!”
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Lee went on to quote Dr. King’s famous 1968 speech against the war in Vietnam, saying he’s sitting the Oscars out because “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 is right.” However, the “real battle,” for Lee, is still in the executive offices at the major studios, which are still overwhelmingly white and influence what movies are made.
“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.”