Maria Puente, USA Today, February 25, 2016
Sharpton’s National Action Network announced Thursday a “nationwide TV tuneout” of the Academy Awards broadcast Sunday night, and a series of demonstrations and rallies to protest the lack of women and minorities in the movie industry in general and in this year’s major Oscar nominations in particular.
“Join the Rev Al Sharpton, Hollywood community and leaders across this nation as we take a unified stand for DIVERSITY, INCLUSION and JUSTICE in Hollywood,” Sharpton’s organization posted on its website.
“Let’s send a strong message that diversity in the film industry must be more than a hollow promise.”
Sharpton, a pro at organizing instant protest rallies for issues he cares about, will lead a rally in front of Hollywood High School at 2 pm Sunday, not far from the Dolby Theater where the Oscar ceremony takes place. Similar rallies are scheduled in front of local TV news stations in Ohio, Michigan, New York, Miami, Washington, D.C. and Miami on the same night.
On Wednesday night, Sharpton was at the White House to attend the taping of In Performance at the White House‘s celebration of Ray Charles, and posted selfies from the event.
The dearth of diversity in Hollywood is not new; what’s new is that for a second year in a row, all of the major acting Oscars will be going to white people.
Sharpton’s forces are trying to persuade some of the millions of Americans who watch the Oscars every year to tune out. Already, some major stars, such as Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, have said they plan to do something else Sunday night.