BLACK VOICES
01/15/2016 02:50 pm ET

Rev. Al Sharpton Blasts Oscars, Group Plans Boycott Of Award Show

“Yet again, deserving black actors and directors were ignored by the Academy," Sharpton said.
Sharpton's National Action Network urges viewers to boycott the Oscar’s Feb. 28, telecast.
Win McNamee via Getty Images
Sharpton's National Action Network urges viewers to boycott the Oscar’s Feb. 28, telecast.

While Ice Cube seems unbothered by the N.W.A biopic, “Straight Outta Compton” being omitted from additional categories at this year’s Oscars, black community leaders have started to take proactive steps on the issue.

Following the Academy’s Thursday morning announcement of the 2016 Oscars nominees, Rev. Al Sharpton blasted the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for its blatant lack of diversity in this year's nominations.

“Hollywood is like the Rocky Mountains, the higher up you get the whiter it gets and this year’s Academy Awards will be yet another Rocky Mountain Oscars,” Sharpton said in a statement provided by the National Action Network. “Yet again, deserving black actors and directors were ignored by the Academy -- which reinforces the fact that there are few if any blacks with real power in Hollywood. Being left out of awards consideration is about more than just recognition for a job well-done; winning an Oscar has long-lasting cultural and economic impacts.”

Sharpton's comments weren't the first time he addressed the diversity problem in Hollywood. In 2014, after a leaked racist email exchange between then-Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal and a Hollywood producer were exposed, Sharpton met with Pascal to discuss plans to bring equality to the film industry.

Next month, Sharpton and the National Action Network intend to call out studios and film industry leaders “who aren’t living up to their obligations,” during a Hollywood Summit

The group’s Los Angeles chapter is also urging viewers to boycott the Oscar’s Feb. 28, telecast in an effort to impact the show’s ratings and advertising interest, according to the chapter’s political director Najee Ali.

“The lack of African Americans and women excluded from the major categories of Oscar nominees is appalling,” Ali said in a statement to The Wrap. “Cheryl Boone Issacs, the African-American president of the academy, is nothing but a pawn, and the black face of Hollywood’s system and culture that is racist, sexist and lacks true diversity.”

The 88th annual Academy Awards, hosted by Chris Rock, will air live on ABC on Feb. 28.

Also on HuffPost:

  • Best Actor: Johnny Depp, "Black Mass"
    "Black Mass" was supposed to be Johnny Depp's big comeback. And it did decent business at the box office, but Depp's portraya
    David M. Benett via Getty Images
    "Black Mass" was supposed to be Johnny Depp's big comeback. And it did decent business at the box office, but Depp's portrayal of Boston crime lord Whitey Bulger hasn't been an awards favorite. Even the Golden Globes snubbed him. The Golden Globes! As in, the same group that nominated him for "The Tourist!" Oh well. Good thing he doesn't want an Oscar anyway.
  • Best Supporting Actor: Idris Elba, "Beasts of No Nation"
    One of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-academy-proves-that-oscars-are-only-for-white-people-again_5697b067e4
    Mike Pont via Getty Images
    One of many performers of color to see their names left off the list, Idris Elba's commanding turn as a West African warlord won raves on the festival circuit. But voters bypassed "Beasts of No Nation," Netflix's first original feature, altogether, despite the surprising attention it garnered from the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
  • Best Supporting Actor: Michael Keaton, "Spotlight"
    The "Spotlight" ensemble had too many cooks in the Boston Globe kitchen. Open Road Films campaigned for&nbsp;everyone in the
    Theo Wargo via Getty Images
    The "Spotlight" ensemble had too many cooks in the Boston Globe kitchen. Open Road Films campaigned for everyone in the cast as supporting players, and it seemed like Michael Keaton -- arguably the film's standout -- could become the guy to beat in this category. But then the SAG Awards snubbed both him and Mark Ruffalo, and BAFTA put him in the lead category, making it apparent that the campaign strategy wasn't effective. It worked out in Ruffalo's favor, but Keaton lost his spot to Tom Hardy ("The Revenant").
  • Best Picture: "Carol"
    We seek resolutions&nbsp;because "Carol" was the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/best-movies-of-2015_56722062e4b
    The Weinstein Company
    We seek resolutions because "Carol" was the best movie of 2015 and the Academy is too conventional to recognize its brilliance. In retrospect, it's not that much of a surprise: The Best Picture race often favors more overtly sentimental fare, and "Carol" reportedly left some voters feeling cold.
  • Best Supporting Actor: Paul Dano, "Love & Mercy"
    Paul Dano is effectively a co-lead in "Love &amp; Mercy,"&nbsp;where he plays Brian Wilson during the recording of the Beach
    Araya Diaz via Getty Images
    Paul Dano is effectively a co-lead in "Love & Mercy," where he plays Brian Wilson during the recording of the Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds." He's stunning in the role, but despite nods from the Golden Globes and Independent Spirit Awards, Dano didn't have the star power to avoid such category confusion.
  • Best Picture: "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"
    "The Martian" and "Mad Max: Fury Road" were always destined to occupy the category's blockbuster slots, and the Force's fate
    Walt Disney Studios
    "The Martian" and "Mad Max: Fury Road" were always destined to occupy the category's blockbuster slots, and the Force's fate was pretty much sealed when the Producers Guild of America left this movie off its awards shortlist. Fingers crossed this won't damage the box-office potential.
  • Best Supporting Actress: Jane Fonda, "Youth"
    This would have been Jane Fonda's first Oscar nod in 29 years. But she was only in&nbsp;"Youth" for five minutes, and the mov
    Araya Diaz via Getty Images
    This would have been Jane Fonda's first Oscar nod in 29 years. But she was only in "Youth" for five minutes, and the movie was far too polarizing for the Academy to single her out. Rachel McAdams' "Spotlight" work took Fonda's spot.
  • Best Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino, "The Hateful Eight"
    Quentin Tarantino has won this award twice, and he seemed destined to secure at least a nomination this year. But the long, b
    ANGELA WEISS via Getty Images
    Quentin Tarantino has won this award twice, and he seemed destined to secure at least a nomination this year. But the long, bloody "Hateful Eight" script didn't register with the Academy. Instead, "Ex Machina" scribe Alex Garland and "Straight Outta Compton" writers Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff left Tarantino stuck at Minnie's Haberdashery.
  • Best Picture: "Straight Outta Compton"
    This crowd-pleasing NWA biopic stunned enough of the industry to score a Best Ensemble nod at the SAG Awards, but not enough
    Universal
    This crowd-pleasing NWA biopic stunned enough of the industry to score a Best Ensemble nod at the SAG Awards, but not enough to crack Best Picture.
  • Best Supporting Actor: Jacob Tremblay, "Room"
    We will forever look back at the 2016 Oscar race as the time 9-year-old Jacob Tremblay became a star. His remarkable "Room" p
    Eric Charbonneau/Invision/AP
    We will forever look back at the 2016 Oscar race as the time 9-year-old Jacob Tremblay became a star. His remarkable "Room" performance scored a SAG nod, but he is technically a co-lead in the film, even if A24 thought a supporting nomination would be more feasible. Whether it was category confusion or his age that hurt him, Tremblay will have plenty more opportunities to waltz across the Oscar stage.
  • Best Actor: Will Smith, "Concussion"
    Will Smith was always a dicey bet in this derby, especially without that SAG nod. Best Actor was just too much like a dull ga
    Jim Spellman via Getty Images
    Will Smith was always a dicey bet in this derby, especially without that SAG nod. Best Actor was just too much like a dull game of musical chairs this year, and Smith was tasked with ousting the likes of Johnny Depp, Bryan Cranston and Tom Hanks. With overwrought awards bait like "Concussion," he couldn't swing it.
  • Best Original Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, "Steve Jobs"
    This one's a real stunner. All 25 pundits on awards-handicapping site GoldDerby <a href="http://www.goldderby.com/awardshows/
    Jason LaVeris via Getty Images
    This one's a real stunner. All 25 pundits on awards-handicapping site GoldDerby predicted Aaron Sorkin would score a nomination, and that looked especially certain after his Golden Globe win on Sunday. Alas, the "Steve Jobs" scribe couldn't walk and talk his way into the Academy's affection this time.
  • Best Supporting Actress: Kristen Stewart, "Clouds of Sils Maria"
    Despite the wise critics' groups that gave Kristen Stewart their supporting-actress prize, this movie was just too under-the-
    Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
    Despite the wise critics' groups that gave Kristen Stewart their supporting-actress prize, this movie was just too under-the-radar for the Academy.
  • Best Director: Todd Haynes, "Carol"
    Once again, Todd Haynes has been blanked for Best Director. "Carol," <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/best-movies
    Theo Wargo via Getty Images
    Once again, Todd Haynes has been blanked for Best Director. "Carol," the best movie of 2015, must have made itself. Good job, "Carol."
  • Best Original Screenplay: Amy Schumer, "Trainwreck"
    Amy Schumer's debut script made the cutoff with the Writers Guild Awards, but it didn't rate as favorably with the Academy's
    Kevin Mazur via Getty Images
    Amy Schumer's debut script made the cutoff with the Writers Guild Awards, but it didn't rate as favorably with the Academy's writers branch.
  • Best Director: Ridley Scott, "The Martian"
    Seen as a&nbsp;pacesetter in this category, Ridley Scott missed out on what would have been his third Best Director nominatio
    Michael Kovac via Getty Images
    Seen as a pacesetter in this category, Ridley Scott missed out on what would have been his third Best Director nomination. It's a shame, too, because "The Martian" is a piece of craftsmanship. 
  • Best Supporting Actor: Michael Shannon, "99 Homes"
    Michael Shannon started awards season as a second-tier contender at best, but after a surprise SAG nomination, he seemed like
    John Shearer via Getty Images
    Michael Shannon started awards season as a second-tier contender at best, but after a surprise SAG nomination, he seemed like a viable contender. That didn't translate to the Oscars, but make no mistake: His "99 Homes" performance is fierce.
  • Best Actor: Michael B. Jordan, "Creed"
    Sadly, Michael B. Jordan was always on the outskirts of this category -- but a movie lover&nbsp;can dream, just like Donnie J
    Jason LaVeris via Getty Images
    Sadly, Michael B. Jordan was always on the outskirts of this category -- but a movie lover can dream, just like Donnie Johnson did in "Creed."
  • Best Animated Feature: "The Good Dinosaur"
    Pixar movies are often shoo-ins for Best Animated Feature, but "The Good Dinosaur" didn't enjoy&nbsp;the studio's typically g
    Walt DIsney Studios
    Pixar movies are often shoo-ins for Best Animated Feature, but "The Good Dinosaur" didn't enjoy the studio's typically glowing reviews. The less-conventional "When Marnie Was There" took its spot. But don't mourn for Pixar too hard: "Inside Out" will probably win this award.
  • Best Documentary Feature: "Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief"
    Alex Gibney's acclaimed expos&eacute; missed out on a Best Documentary nod, as did "The Hunting Ground," "He Named Me Malala,
    HBO
    Alex Gibney's acclaimed exposé missed out on a Best Documentary nod, as did "The Hunting Ground," "He Named Me Malala," "Meru," "Best of Enemies" and "Where to Invade Next." Instead, "What Happened, Miss Simone?" and "Winter on Fire" rounded out the category.
  • Best Supporting Actress: Mya Taylor, "Tangerine"
    It was always a big ask to get the Academy to recognize this <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tangerine-movie-tra
    Brent N. Clarke via Getty Images
    It was always a big ask to get the Academy to recognize this low-budget Sundance dramedy about transgender sex workers, but if anyone was going to pull it off, it was newcomer Mya Taylor, who won the Gotham Awards' breakthrough-actor prize.
CONVERSATIONS