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#OscarsSoWhite: Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee boycott Academy Awards ceremony

The outcry over the lack of black actors nominated at the Academy Awards is gaining momentum, with director Spike Lee the latest star to boycott the prestigious ceremony.

In an Instagram post on Monday, the same day as Martin Luther King Day is celebrated in the US, Lee asked how no black actors had been nominated for the last two years.

The director was last year awarded an honorary Oscar but said he could no longer support the Academy Awards.

"How is it possible for the second consecutive year all the 20 contenders under the actor category are white? And let's not even get into the other branches," he wrote.

"Forty white actors in two years and no flava [sic] at all. We can't act?! WTF!!


"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.'"

Spike Lee's Instagram post with a picture of Martin Luther King.

The post follows similar comments made by Jada Pinkett Smith over the weekend, who said the nominations were a "deep disappointment".

"At the Oscars... people of colour are always welcomed to give out awards... even entertain, but we are rarely recognised for our artistic accomplishments," Pinkett Smith wrote on Facebook. 

"Should people of colour refrain from participating all together? People can only treat us in the way in which we allow."

Her husband Will Smith was a contender in the best actor category for his role in Concussion, but failed to make the final five.

At the Oscars...people of color are always welcomed to give out awards...even entertain, but we are rarely recognized...

Posted by Jada Pinkett Smith on  Saturday, 16 January 2016

Comedian Chris Rock is hosting the February 28 ceremony.

In a video posted to YouTube on Monday, Pinkett Smith said she would not be attending the ceremony or even watching it.

"The Academy has the right to acknowledge whoever they choose, invite whoever they choose. Now I think it is our responsibility to make the change."

"Maybe it is time to pull back our resources and put them back into our communities. Begging for acknowledgment or even asking diminishes dignity and diminishes power."

Last year, film academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs had to defend herself against claims the Oscars lacked diversity, saying great strides has been made toward inclusiveness. 

A 2012 survey by the Los Angeles Times found the academy was 94 per cent white, overwhelmingly male and with a median age of 62.