Academy promises ‘all-black’ Oscars next year, encourages Will Smith to make another movie to ensure acting nod

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Stung by widespread criticism it received over the glaring shutout of black actors in the four acting categories for the second year in a row, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) today promised that next year’s Oscars will be an “all-black affair.”

AMPAS President Cheryl Boone Isaacs made the announcement at a press luncheon, saying that Academy members will “deliberately overlook all performances by non-black actors” in order to ensure that all 20 acting nominations for the 89th Oscars will be strictly for black actors.

“We want to send a definitive message that the Academy believes black people are talented as well, and toward that end, we will only focus on black actors and ignore any performances by white people or those of other racial backgrounds, no matter how brilliant, for next year’s nominations,” said Boone Isaacs. “We apologize in advance to Meryl Streep and Eddie Redmayne.”

Boone Isaacs specifically encouraged Will Smith to go out and make a movie that meets next year’s eligibility requirements, so that he can “rest assured he will get an acting nomination.”

“It could be a movie adaptation of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, or another dramatic movie where he affects a funny awkward accent, it doesn’t matter,” said Boone Isaacs. “We will nominate him nonetheless.”

As of press time, Smith could not be reached for comment. Smith, along with his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith, has not minced words regarding this year’s lack of diversity. The two strongly believed he was going to get a Best Actor nod for his role as Nigerian doctor Bennet Omalu in the sports medical drama Concussion.

The 88th Academy Awards will take place on February 28, 2016 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. As a form of protest, Smith and his wife are trying to convince other high profile black celebrities to join them in boycotting the ceremony. So far, only Spike Lee has confirmed participation.

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