Pop Culture

Jamie Foxx Weighs In On Oscars Controversy, Says Black Actors Need To #ActBetter If They Want Awards

The Oscar winner poked fun at all the controversy at an awards show last weekend.

A-listers may be boycotting the Oscars this Sunday due to the lack of diversity among the nominees, but Jamie Foxx seems largely unbothered.

During an appearance at the American Black Film Festival Awards on Sunday, Foxx - who took home an Academy Award for Best Actor in 2005 for his portrayal of Ray Charles in the biopic Ray- attempted to poke fun at the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.

"All these Oscar talks, I don't even trip about that," Foxx said. "I mean, what's the big deal? I was sitting at home with my Oscar, like 'What's all the hubbub?'

According to US Weekly, he went on to say that he and fellow Oscar winner Denzel Washington then "Instagrammed" their Oscars together, adding #WhatsTheBigDeal and #ActBetter.

He then took on a more serious tone, recalling a conversation he had with legendary actor Sidney Poitier.

"I was with Sidney Poitier just a couple weeks ago, and in 1963 all he asked for was an opportunity to act. That's all we have to do, opportunity. If you turn the camera on and say 'OK... win an award... and action,' we'll all have taken, like, 10 steps back. It's all about the art. Who cares about anything else?"

But isn't that the whole point of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy? That actors of color aren't nominated because they aren't getting the same opportunities to shine on stage in the first place? No one is calling for people of color to be given awards that they don't deserve, but rather the opportunity to run the same race. How can people of color focus on "the art," as Foxx suggests, if they're continuously shut out?

As Viola Davis said in her now iconic Emmy acceptance speech, the only thing that separates women of color from everyone else is opportunity.

"You can not win an Emmy for roles that simply are not there," Davis said.

Davis is right. It's a real problem, and one that I think is definitely worth caring about. 

For more on the #OscarsSoWhite controvery, check out the video below!

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