Jada Pinkett Smith has announced that she will not be attending or watching the 2016 Academy Awards.
Smith initially contemplated skipping the Oscars after her husband, Will Smith, failed to receive a Best Actor nomination for his turn as Dr. Bennet Omalu in Concussion.
Now, via a video shared Monday morning on Facebook–and timed to coincide with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day–she has made her intentions clear.
Here is the full transcript of Jada Pinkett Smith’s Oscar boycott announcement:
Hi. Today is Martin Luther King’s birthday and I can’t help but ask the question, ‘Is it time that people of color recognize how much power, influence that we have amassed that we no longer need to ask to be invited anywhere?’ I ask the question, ‘Have we now come to a new time and place where we recognize that we can no longer beg for the love, acknowledgment or respect of any group?’ That maybe it’s time we recognize that if we love and respect and acknowledge ourselves in the way in which we are asking others to do, that that is the place of true power?’ I’m simply asking a question.
Here’s what I believe. 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. Maybe it is time we pull back our resources and we put them back into our communities, into our programs, and we make programs for ourselves that acknowledge us in ways that we see fit, that are just as good as the so-called mainstream ones? I don’t know, but here is what I do know… Begging for acknowledgement, or even asking, diminishes dignity and diminishes power and we are a dignified people and we are powerful and let’s not forget it. So let’s let the Academy do them with all grace and love and let’s do us differently.
Smith went on to say that she respects Chris Rock’s gig as the host as she let him know she will not be attending or watching.