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#OscarsSoWhite Instagram

On the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s birthday, actress Jada Pinkett Smith took to social media to denounce The Academy Awards for the lack of racially diverse actors and actresses up for nominations in 2016.

Pinkett Smith starts her one minute video on Facebook, explaining why she is boycotting the Oscars, by beseeching people of colour to recognise the power they have amassed and to stop begging for “love, acknowledgement and respect”.

Pinkett Smith’s outrage comes just days after The Oscars’ announced their nominees, which failed to elect even one person of colour amidst 40 nominations.

jada pinkett smith
Pinkett Smith with her husband and children at the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Concert Harry Wad / Creative Commons

2016 marks the second year in a row that all Oscar nominees are white.

The nominations also sparked the rebirth of the Twitter hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, which have circulated in previous years due to a lack of racial diversity at The Academy Awards.

Director/Producer Spike Lee today jumped on Pinkett Smith’s bandwagon, posting a photo of Martin Luther King on his instagram account, citing also his boycott of The Academy Awards.

#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

The most shocking of The Oscars snubs include Hollywood heavyweights Will Smith, for "Concussion", Idris Elba, for "Beasts of no Nation" and Michael B. Jordan for "Creed".

Many have also expressed outrage that even in films that feature primarily actors and actresses of colour, the only nominations went to white people who were in supporting roles, or set and cinematography work.

Most notably, “Straight Outta Compton” about hip-hop group N.W.A failed to gain any acting nominations and was only awarded a nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

Many have also criticised a nomination going to Sylvester Stallone for his Supporting Role in a film about an African-American boxer, played by Michael B. Jordan who was snubbed.

Other celebrities who have expressed their outrage and disappointment with this year’s nominees include Rashida Jones, Ricky Gervais and Cheryl Boone Isaacs.