Jamie Foxx isn’t bothered by the diversity controversy surrounding this year’s Oscars. The Academy Award-winning actor poked fun at the #OscarsSoWhite debate on Sunday during the American Black Film Festival Awards.
“All these Oscar talks, I don’t even trip about that,” he said before introducing producer Will Packer for the Distinguished ABFF Alumni Award. “I mean, what’s the big deal? I was sitting at home with my Oscar, like ‘What’s all the hubbub?"
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Jamie, who won his first Oscar back in 2005 for his performance in Ray, continued, “My friend said, ‘Are you mad?’ ‘Um, kind of, but not really - I started calling Denzel [Washington], and we just Instagrammed our Oscars together.”
While stars Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith are boycotting the upcoming award show because of the lack of diversity, Jamie told laughing audience members at the ABFF awards, "#WhatsTheBigDeal?” and “#ActBetter.”
On stage, the 48-year-old also recalled a recent conversation he shared with the first African-American to win best actor at the Oscars, Sidney Poitier. He revealed, “I was with Sidney Poitier just a couple weeks ago, and in 1963 all he asked for was an opportunity to act. That's all we have to do, opportunity. If you turn the camera on and say ‘OK . . . win an award . . . and action,’ we'll all have taken, like, 10 steps back. It's all about the art. Who cares about anything else?”
Aside from Jamie, a slew of other celebrities have voiced their thoughts on the 2016 Academy Awards. Spotlight actor Mark Ruffalo revealed that he is considering boycotting the awards show along with Will and Jada. He said, "It isn’t just the Academy Awards. The entire American system is rife with white privilege racism. It goes into our justice system.” Oscar winner George Clooney said, “We're moving in the wrong direction,” while best actress winner, Lupita Nyong'o admitted she is "disappointed by the lack of inclusion in this year's Academy Awards."