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Spike Lee: 'Backing out of Oscars boycott would make me a punk'

Published 25/01/2016

Spike Lee
Spike Lee

Spike Lee is pleased the Academy is taking steps to tackle the issue of diversity following the 2016 Oscar nominations.

Spike Lee would never pull a "punk move" and backtrack on his vow to boycott the 2016 Oscars.

The 58-year-old director is among those who have publicly criticised the nominations list for the upcoming Academy Awards, which has been slammed for their lack of diversity. Jada Pinkett Smith and her husband Will Smith joined Spike by stating they will not attend the 28 February (16) ceremony as a point of principle, and even though the Academy has announced plans to double minority membership by 2020 Spike has no plans to back down.

"I’m still going to the (basketball) game. I’m not showing up," he told Us Weekly. "My wife and I, we made the decision, we’re not going to change our decision. We’ll be at Madison Square Garden, Sunday night, February 28th (16), New York Knickerbockers against the Miami Heat. We took a moral stance, and we’re not going to do a punk move and go back on our word."

The star is pleased the Academy has listened to the outpouring of disgust about the 2016 Oscar nominations, but warns a great deal must be done to ensure there is true equality in Hollywood.

"It's not going to be just one thing, it's going to be a lot of things that make the nominations more inclusive and representative," he said.

"Someone suggested to me we should have the numbers, let's see who got how many votes. Those are two steps forward. This conversation has been going on a long time, but this year is clearly different."

Matt Damon joined a growing group of stars to comment on the situation over the weekend (23-24Jan16), suggesting the industry has a "long, long, long way to go" before it manages to tackle the diversity issue.

“We’re talking about huge systemic injustices around race and gender that are a lot bigger than the Oscars,” he told Associated Press. “They’re massive issues in our industry and in our country.”

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