EXCLUSIVE: Michael Jai White Is Here For A Boycott, "Oscars Are KISS OF DEATH For Black Actors!"
Actor Michael Jai White is all the way here for a boycott of the Oscars. He says the golden statue doesn't escalate black actors' careers anyway. And he's even spitting off receipts. Find out what he tells us inside...
AdultSwim's "Black Dynamite" star Michael Jai White isn't holding back when blasting the Oscars and everything they stand for.
We caught up with him and his new wife Gillian -- fresh off a birthday vacay to Turks and Caicos -- on the snow-filled streets on New York yesterday about the #OscarsSoWhite campaign. While in town taking meetings before heading back to L.A., this guy held nothing back.
Michael tells TheYBF.com that the Oscars are actually the kiss of death for a black actor's career saying:
"What has Oscar done for black actors? Usually an Oscar win or nomination marks the end or decline of the careers of black actors."
He spit off receipts citing:
"Lou Gossett Jr., Cuba Gooding Jr., Jennifer Hudson, Angela Bassett, Gabby Sidibe, Barkhad Abdi, Whoopi, Monique, Halle, Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, or if you’re lucky, you just get to continue the career you’ve already had in progress; Denzel, Morgan Freeman, Samuel L Jackson, Chiwetel, Idris, with Oscar neither providing a bump in advancement nor speed bump in prevention of pace."
Bloop. He may have a point.
"I’ve always seen the Oscars as “The Kiss Of Death” for black actors, especially if they weren’t already Box Office vetted. If there was a case where I’ve forgotten a black actor who’s career skyrocketed after the Oscar win, I’d like to hear it… It would be understandable for me to have forgotten someone but how would we forget someone so famous? Well we haven’t! Like sun tanning, we can participate but it doesn’t have quite the same affect when you aren’t white."
The former Why Did I Get Married? star said white actors get the push of a lifetime when they win. He tells us:
"There is a major difference for what Oscar does for white folks who you’d never even heard of prior to them winning or nominated; Eddie Redmayne, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sylvester Stallone, Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Jennifer Lawrence. I think you can see the difference in their career growth post Oscar AND I’M ONLY USING TWO OF THIS YEARS ACTOR CATEGORIES! What if I used the entire list of all white actors? We make the mistake of buying into the relevance of something proven to be irrelevant to the level of dark comedy."
As for fellow actor Jada Pinkett Smith's call for change...and possibly a boycott...Michael is all the way here for it. Especially since we don't seem to matter to the Academy anyway:
"I applaud Jada Pinkett Smith for starting this dialog and whether folks believe it’s self serving on her behalf or not, she is right about standing up for ones integrity. If we don’t matter to the Academy, why should they matter to us? It’s not like we supported the images of us they endorsed anyway! It’s like a long cruel joke and we’re making ourselves the punchline by giving it so much weight. I’d just like some cause and effect beneath all the rhetoric."
By the way, he says BET should lead the pack by running black movies at the same time as the Oscars saying:
"I’d love to see BET program something like; John Henrik Clarke’s “A Great And Mighty Walk” [Produced by Wesley Snipes] to air the same time as the Oscars. We can have our households watch something relevant to us and in unity. We can make it OUR NIGHT, watch with pride and add to BET’s bottom line."
So, will you be watching the Oscars next month? Or has apathy already set in?