The lack of diversity in this year’s Oscar nominees have been a point of contention since they were announced on Thursday, Jan. 14. The lack of African-American talent up for accolades helped make #OscarsSoWhite trend on Twitter and it wasn’t long before a boycott was announced.
Jada Pinkett-Smith and director Spike Lee are amongst those in Hollywood who have pledged to turn their proverbial backs on the 88th Annual Academy Awards when they air next month. One actress taking issue with this boycott is none other than Aunt Viv herself — the first one, mind you — from “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.”
Actress Janet Hubert is slamming Jada Pinkett Smith's plan to boycott the 88th Academy Awards ceremony for a lack of diversity.
Editor's note: Some may find the language in this video offensive.
Hubert is best known for her role as the original "Aunt Viv" on the 90s sitcom, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She was let go in 1993. She and actor Will Smith have had a history of feuding since she left the show.
Pinkett Smith took to Twitter on January 16th expressing her concerns:
"At the Oscars...people of color are always welcomed to give out awards...even entertain. But we are rarely recognized for our artistic accomplishments. Should people of color refrain from participating all together?"
She wants other actors and actresses to pour their resources into the African-American community.
However, Hubert was not impressed. In a Facebook video titled "To the Smiths," Hubert says there are a lot of things going in the world that the Smith's don’t seem to recognize.
Hubert addresses Pinkett-Smith as “Miss Thing” and proceeds to go on a four-minute rant against the “Gotham” actress, “Does your man not have a mouth of his own with which to speak?”
"People are dying, our boys are being shot left and right, people are hungry, people are starving, people are trying to pay bills — and you’re talking about some expletive actors uh…and…Oscars.”
She seemed appalled that the couple is asking "blacktresses" and black actors to jeopardize their career. Hubert finds it ironic because she says the Smith's have made their living and millions of dollars from the very people they're wanting to boycott.
"Just because you didn’t get a nomination, just because you didn’t win? That’s not the way life works, baby. Okay? And it’s very suspect to me."
“You ain’t Barack and Michelle Obama. And y’all need to get over yourselves,” Hubert rants, “You have a huge production company that you only produce your friends and family and yourself. So you are a part of Hollywood, you are part of the system that is unfair to other actors. So get real.”
No African-Americans were nominated in the four acting categories for the second consecutive year. Pinkett Smith says people can only treat minorities "in the way in which we allow."
Turning her attention to her former small-screen co-star, the actress brings up a negotiation incident that allegedly happened on the set of “Fresh Prince” years ago. Stating her desire to request an across-the-board raise, “like the white shows do,” she calls out Will for going his own way: “Your response to me was ‘my deal is my deal. And your deal is your deal.'”
The video comes to an end with Hubert saying she isn’t jealous but has bigger things to worry about. “You know some of us have got mortgages to pay, we got bills to pay, we have bigger s**t to worry about than the Oscars.”
Hubert's video has watched 810,000 times and shared over 20,000 times.