By now we’ve all read the headlines stating that Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith plan to boycott the Oscars.

Their outrage toward year number two of #OscarsSoWhite is fueling the fire of discussion around the exclusion of actors of color across The Academy.

Though aside from talk, the absence of two of Hollywood’s most influential black film stars concerns the Academy not only because of the embarrassment of racist allegations, but because it’ll also hurt their ratings.

If you don’t know by now, the dollars and support of people of color matter to Hollywood (concerningly more than black lives do).

While Je Suis Paris will probably be the theme of this year’s awards season, it’s the support of people of color who will have an overall impact on The Oscars’ financial success.

Should black viewers chose to follow in the footsteps of Jada and Spike and boycott this year’s Oscars, a serious dent would be put in the ratings for the telecast, which in turn would result in a major loss of revenue for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Making over $2 million in ad revenue alone, the Academy makes upwards of $90 million each season from “the academy awards and related activities” (related activities include telecast revenue).

I am both heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion,” academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs said in a statement released Monday night, “This is a difficult but important conversation, and it’s time for big change.”

She also added that the academy will take “dramatic steps” to alter the makeup of its membership and to accelerate diversity efforts, though those promises have been made in the past.

About The Author Samantha Callender

Samantha Callender is a multimedia journalist whose work ranges from entertainment journalism to pieces highlighting social issues in multicultural communities. Samantha strives to find intersects between entertainment and social matters, believing that pop culture has the power to not only entertain the masses, but to educate them as well. Her goal when storytelling is to write pieces that serve as a catalyst to prompt dialogue and activism. Her work can be seen on VIBE, The Source, Jet Magazine, The Root, and Cosmopolitan Magazine.

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