It’s not just the Academy Awards that are under fire from African-American actors. The Golden Raspberry Awards, also known as the ‘Razzies’, are facing a very similar controversy this year after the nominees for the 36th annual Razzie Awards were announced several weeks ago. With all of the major categories, including Worst Actor, Worst Actress, and Worst Picture focusing primarily on white actors, many activist names have turned their attention to the alternative movie awards ceremony.
“As it if wasn’t bad enough that Hollywood doesn’t think black actors can star in great movies, they don’t even think we can star in bad ones either,” said notable film director Spike Lee. “You had a movie where Will Ferrell hired Kevin Hart to teach him how to BE a tough black man and even THAT wasn’t bad enough for you!” Lee was referring to the 2015 film “Get Hard”.
While technically, Michael B. Jordan received a nomination alongside his co-stars of Fantastic Four for Worst Screen Combo, many critics say this token nomination does little to appease an awards ceremony that has been described on social media as “a lily white roasting”. Even actor Will Smith, who has critiqued the Oscars for similar treatment, has made his position clear despite receiving a special “Razzie Redeemer” nomination for following up ‘After Earth’ with ‘Concussion’.
“While I can appreciate the generosity, this isn’t all about me,” Smith said in a statement on Facebook. “There are many black actors who regularly release terrible movies that are simply getting overlooked. While 2014 was a good year, you can’t deny the sort of bad movies that were ignored in 2015. I mean, Tyler Perry made another Madea movie and the closest thing we have to a brown actor getting a Razzie nomination is Alvin and the Chipmunks!”
Razzie creator and publicist John J.B. Wilson responded to his critics with some incredulity. “To claim the Razzies are about race or anything other than bad movies is preposterous. In fact, it was just last year that we awarded four major Razzie awards to black actors, including Will and Jaden Smith for After Earth, and Tyler Perry for ‘A Madea Christmas’. To be fair, we can’t just hand out awards every year a Madea movie comes out just to hit some Affirmative Action quota. At that rate, we might as well just give Tyler Perry a Lifetime Achievement Award.”
The 38th Annual Golden Raspberry Awards will take place on February 27th, 2016. So far #RazziesSoWhite has not been trending.