#OscarsSoWhite to Use ‘Counter-Programming’ to Protest White Oscars

Los Angeles, CA

April Reign, the creator of the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag, told industry outlet TheWrap on Friday a protest of this year’s Academy Awards will include “counter-programming” that will begin on Oscars night.

The activist and others protested the 87th Academy Awards last February by watching and live-tweeting Eddie Murphy’s Coming to America in lieu of watching the Oscars.

Reign told TheWrap, “We do have another protest planned” for this year over the Academy’s nominating exclusively white actors for a second straight year.

“There will be counter-programming that starts on Oscar night. This is something we did last year, and I can’t tell you exactly what will go on, but last year we live tweeted the movie, Coming to America,” she said, “and people were watching with us on Netflix and live-tweeted, and people decided to turn off their TVs and not watch the Oscars.”

TheWrap reports Reign started the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite in 2015 after the all-white acting nominees were announced.

“#OscarsSoWhite they asked to touch my hair,” she tweeted on Jan. 14, 2015:

The controversy and use of the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag was renewed this year after the Academy again failed to recognize performers of color.

After a backlash that included plans for a number of high-profile black entertainers to boycott, the Academy announced a series of changes to its membership and organizational structure in an effort to boost the diversity of its membership and purge older white members.

The 88th Academy Awards will air Sunday, February 28, on ABC.