Will Smith was nominated for an Oscar in 2007 for his lead role in “The Pursuit of Happiness.” Forest Whitaker won that year for his performance in “The Last King of Scotland.” Smith was also nominated in 2002 for playing Muhammad Ali in”Ali,” but Smith lost to Denzel Washington in “Training Day.” Don Cheadle was nominated as best lead actor for his role in “Hotel Rwanda” in 2005, but that was the year Jamie Foxx won for his role in “Ray.”
— Compiled from IMDb listings
Actress Janet Hubert, who played ‘Aunt Viv’ on the popular 90’s sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” is getting a great deal of social media attention after lambasting actress Jada Pinkett Smith’s call to boycott this year’s Academy Awards.
“First of all, Miss Thing, does your man not have a mouth of his own with which to speak?” Hubert asked in a Facebook video, referring to actor Will Smith, Hubert’s co-star on the sitcom and Pinkett Smith’s husband, who was not nominated for his lead role in the new hit movie “Concussion.”
Pinkett Smith announced Monday with director Spike Lee that they would boycott the Oscars because of lacking diversity among the nominees in major categories. The 88th Academy Awards ceremony will be held Feb. 28 and will be aired on ABC.
This marks the second year in a row a person of color was not nominated in a major acting category and noted black actors took to social media to vent.
Actor Don Cheadle joked on Twitter to comedian Chris Rock, who will host the Oscars this year: “Yo, Chris. Come check me out at #TheOscars this year. They got me parking cars on G level.”
On her Facebook page, Pinkett Smith said “we no longer need to ask to be invited anywhere.” She also wondered whether it was time people of color recognized their own clout when it comes to Hollywood.
“Here’s what I believe,” she said. “The Academy has the right to acknowledge whomever they choose, to invite whomever they choose, and now I think that it’s our responsibility now to make the change.”
But Hubert wrote off Pinkett Smith’s call to action as ramblings from sore and undeserving losers.
“People are dying. Our boys are being shot left and right. People are hungry. People are starving,” Hubert said in her video. “People are trying to pay bills, and you talking about some [expletive] actors and Oscars.
“And it just ain’t that deep,” Hubert said.
Hubert said she finds it ironic that someone is asking other black actors to jeopardize their careers, boycotting the same people the Smiths have made millions of dollars from.
The actress added that about 25 years ago she asked Will Smith to rally with other actors on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” to get a raise “like they did on ‘Friends,’ like white shows do.”
“And your response to me was, ‘My deal is my deal, and y’all’s deal is y’all’s deal,’” Hubert recalled. “Well, karma must be a [expletive] because now here you are.”
Hubert appeared on the sitcom as Will Smith’s aunt, Vivian Banks, from 1990 until 1993, when she was replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid.
Hubert accused the Smiths of owning a production company they only use to produce their own works and those of their friends and family.
“So you are a part of Hollywood,” she said to them in the video. “You are a part of the system that is unfair to other actors, so get real.”
Pinkett Smith didn’t mention in her video Overbrook Entertainment, which she runs with partners James Lassiter and Will Smith.
Instead, the actress said maybe it’s time people of color pull back their resources and support programs they create that are just as good as “the so-called mainstream ones.”
“Begging for acknowledgment or even asking, diminishes dignity and diminishes power,” Pinkett Smith added.