Russell Simmons Launching Black Movie Awards Ceremony Ahead of White Oscars

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

In lieu of this year’s so-called “White Oscars,” Def Jam co-founder and media mogul Russell Simmons has announced he will host his own movie awards ceremony, which is set to debut just days before the 88th Academy Awards.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Simmons’ “All Def Movie Awards” will be held at the TCL Chinese Theater on Feb. 24, just four days before the Oscars.

Simmons told THR Thursday in a statement that the events are “not the Black Oscars, but they could be.”

“This will be a fun, entertaining and hopefully thought provoking celebration of the uncelebrated,” he said. Simmons continued:

I don’t expect a 90-year-old Academy member to see Straight Outta Compton or vote for it. I’m more concerned that in 2016 there continues to be a stunning lack of diversity in the studios, in the green light process, in the decisions of what films and television series get made and what actors get chosen. This needs to be addressed institutionally.

Simmons’ All Def Movie Awards will reportedly feature a black carpet and a live music act, and will stream via video content on social media.

Additionally, Beasts of No Nation, Chi-raq, Concussion, Creed, Dope and Straight Outta Compton will compete for the ceremony’s best picture.

Tony Rock, the brother of comedian and this year’s Oscars host Chris Rock, will headline the show.

Tony Rock told TheWrap of the Oscars trolling, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.”

“We’ll honor the entire movie making process,” Rock said. “Great acting, mediocre acting as well as horrible acting. Soundtracks. Wardrobes. Maybe even craft services (the best part of the set). This is the award show Hollywood has been waiting for.”

The industry outlet reports the ceremony is being programmed as part of the live weekly comedy showcase All Def Comedy Live, and additional categories up for accolades include “Most Quoted”, “Best Bad Muh F—ka”, “Best Helpful White Person”, and “Best Black Survivor in a Movie.”

This year’s Oscars created controversy, after only white actors were nominated in the acting categories for a second straight year. Within a week, the Academy Board of Governors approved a dramatic overhaul of its voting rules and organizational structure in an effort to increase diversity.

The changes will ultimately remove voting privileges from many older, white Academy members.


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