FILE - In this Feb. 24, 2015 file photo, Jada Pinkett Smith arrives at the world premiere of "Focus" at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles. Pinkett Smith says the backlash to the all-white acting nominees for the Academy Awards “isn’t really about the Oscars.” Pinkett Smith on Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, said she wouldn’t attend or watch the Feb. 28 ceremony in a video that helped prompt calls for a boycott of the Academy Awards. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

There are a lot of black actors who apparently want to boycott the Academy Awards because there were no black nominees in the acting categories.


We respect everyone's right to protest, and in a million years it's impossible to tell someone else what should or should not cause them to feel discriminated against.

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Jay Greeson

That said, wouldn't this be like some white NBA players claiming there are not enough white guys in the NBA All-Star Game?

To view every disagreement or disappointment as a byproduct of racism devalues actual racism.

Part of the argument is that the race of actors, their films and the age of those making the nominations do not mesh.

The advanced age of the voting members who nominate and pick Oscar winners, according to some of those upset, means they do not understand movies like "Straight Outta Compton," the story of the ground-breaking rap group N.W.A.

Well, that sounds a lot like racism is bad, but ageism is OK.

Certainly the Academy could be more transparent and release voting totals. If, say, "Reverent" got 500 votes for best picture and "Straight Outta Compton" got 495, is that racism or hard luck?

Also, since far too many avenues in our daily lives are influenced by the shenanigans of Hollywood, the last thing that needs to happen is a separate category for minorities. What kind of message is that?

In a lot of ways that's the opposite goal of the sacrifices made by Martin Luther King Jr. and Jackie Robinson and so many civil rights pioneers.

This flap is so strange that Whoopi Goldberg has become the voice of reason.

Goldberg rightly said the boycott should not be against the Academy Awards show. Goldberg advised making those protests against the people who write, direct and produce the movies for not creating enough roles for black actors. That makes sense.

That uses the strongest color possible — green, as in money — in a place that could enact change.

Again, everyone has the right to protest whatever they see fit. But with that right comes the right to earn criticism.

Speaking of criticism, a big part of this "outrage" was started by those close to Will Smith, the famous actor who started as a rapper, became the "Fresh Prince" on TV and now is a bona fide A-list celebrity. Some believed Smith was going to be in line for award accolades for his portrayal of the doctor in the NFL-bashing "Concussion."

And to "tell the truth" — Smith's oft-used line from the movie — Smith's performance was shaky by all accounts. Plus, not that it matters in the eyes of the Academy, the movie tanked. "Concussion" has earned less in three weeks than "Ride Along 2" earned in its opening weekend.

Now, if this time next year Kevin Hart is not being discussed in award circles, then we'll have real problems.

Contact Jay Greeson at His "Right to the Point" column appears on A2 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Follow him on Twitter at