The debate on diversity at the Academy Awards is gaining momentum. After Will Smith and Spike Lee decided to skip this year's Oscar awards, Emmy winner Viola Davis has also joined the chorus.
The two-time Oscar nominee said that she will not attend the Oscars this year. Davis told ET Online at Elle's 6th Annual Women in Television dinner, "The problem is not with the Oscars, the problem is with the Hollywood movie-making system."
After the Academy failed to nominate a black actor in any of the acting categories for the second year in a row, Davis explained the questions Academy voters should be asking themselves are, "How many black films are being produced every year? How are they being distributed? The films that are being made, are the big-time producers thinking outside of the box in terms of how to cast the role? Can you cast a black woman in that role? Can you cast a black man in that role?"
The How To Get Away With Murder actress said that the problem is not with "our pay". She explained, "The problem isn't even our pay. You could probably line up all the A-list black actresses out there [and] they probably don't make what one A-list white woman makes in one film. That's the problem. You can change the Academy, but if there are no black films being produced, what is there to vote for?"
Davis has decided not to attend the awards this year, because she's not boycotting it altogether, but because she is going on a vacation. However, when asked whether she agreed with stars like Tyrese Gibson, who have argued that host Chris Rock should protest against the event, Davis said that its the comedian's choice.
"Like I said, the Oscars are not really the issue. It's a symptom of a much greater disease. But if he does, I hope he takes it as an opportunity to make a statement, a social statement about change. It's 2016," the actress stressed.
Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith confirmed that they will not be attending the Oscars to protest against the "lily-white acting nominations". Director Spike Lee is among the growing list of Hollywood stars who have decided to skip the Academy Awards to be held next month.