While other celebrities are ditching the Oscars this year in protest, Quincy Jones plans on giving the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences an ultimatum instead, says the Hollywood Reporter. He will refuse their offer to present if they refuse to let him give a quick speech at the awards about bringing recognition to women and people of color in Hollywood.
“It’s frightening to see 90 percent white and 80 percent white male,” Jones said.
NATPE scheduled Jones to speak with Norman Lear at their panel “Storytellers and the Shaping of Pop Culture” before honoring him with a Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award on Wednesday (Jan. 20). During the session, Jones reportedly deviated from his entrepreneurial tales to announce an upcoming pop culture impact. He said, “When I’m back [in Los Angeles], I’m going to ask [them] to let me speak for five minutes on the lack of diversity. If not, I’m not going to [present].”
Jones received acclaim from the Academy in the past, but not many others of his race can claim the same accolades. It is possible that they will take his request into consideration. If not, he will be joining his Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Spike Lee in skipping out on the February award ceremony.
“There are two ways to do it,” Jones said. “You can boycott or you can fix it.”