Russell Simmons Plans “All Def Movie Awards”, Scheduled Days Before The Oscars
For better or worse – #OscarsSoWhite has become the anthem for this year’s awards season due to the realization that just like the year before – the pool of nominees in the major categories are all white – except for a handful of talent.
Right after the nominations were announced, actress Jada Pinkett Smith released a video confirming that she and hubby Will Smith, who failed to garner a best actor nomination for his work in Concussion – would not be attending the Oscars. Director Spike Lee, whose latest controversial offering, Chi-raq also didn’t register with the Academy – announced that he and his wife were not planning on attending the prestigious ceremony scheduled for Feb. 28.
This prompted other A-listers to consider boycotting while actor/singer Tyrese Gibson and rapper, 50 Cent called on Oscar host, Chris Rock, to consider backing out of his gig. The comedian and actor is still planning on fulfilling his obligations and Kerry Washington, Kevin Hart, Morgan Freeman and Whoopi Goldberg have been invited to present on the big night.
But mogul, Russell Simmons is taking a different route when it comes to the full blown controversy. Simmons has created his very own award show – “The All Def Movie Awards” which will take place just days before the Academy Awards.
In a statement released right after his announcement, Simmons made it clear that his award show should not be regarded as “the Black Oscars”. He went on to explain that it “will be a fun, entertaining and hopefully thought provoking celebration of the uncelebrated”.
Simmons went on to verify his inspiration for staging his own award show by pointing out older white men who mostly comprise of the Academy would most likely pass on viewing a film like Straight Outta Compton, which would make it hard for them to include the film during the voting process.
“I’m more concerned that in 2016 there continues to be a stunning lack of diversity in the studios, in the green light process, in the decisions of what films and television series get made and what actors get chosen. This needs to be addressed institutionally”.
The festivities are planned for Feb. 24, at the TCL Chinese Theatre – and the arrival segment will feature a black carpet as opposed to the traditional red tones. There will also be live musical performances. And for those who can’t attend – streaming services will be provided.
The best picture category is littered with the films that were blatantly ignored by the Academy – Beasts of No Nation, Chi-raq, Concussion, Creed, Dope and Straight Outta Compton.
Other categories include, best actor, best actress, best director, and “best bad muh f**ka”. There is also a shoutout to the “best helpful white person” and “best black survivor in a movie”.
For laughs and a grand ole time, comedian Tony Rock has been commissioned to host the ceremony.