Race row hits Oscars

By Drum Digital
18 January 2016

By Koketso Mashika

Commotion erupted online following the announcement of this year’s Oscars nominees, with many people criticising the Academy Awards for their lack of diversity.

Many A-listers voiced their frustrations on social networks, including actresses Jada Pinkett Smith and Emmy Rossum, as well as Iron Man actor Don Cheadle.

"At the Oscars ... people of colour are always welcomed to give out awards ... even entertain, but we are rarely recognised for our artistic accomplishments," wrote Jada. "Should people of colour refrain from participating all together?"

They weren’t the only ones. Producer Will Packer was equally livid. Though his movie Straight Outta Compton broke box offices records worldwide, it was only nominated in the best original screenplay category.

"The reason the rest of the world looks at us like we have no clue is because in 2016 it's a complete embarrassment to say that the heights of cinematic achievement have only been reached by white people," Packer wrote on his Facebook. "I repeat — it's embarrassing. It's unfair to the performers of colour who sacrificed so much, laid it all on the line AND DELIVERED (sic) with their projects this year."

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