Amid calls for a boycott of the Academy Awards over its all-white acting nominees and Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith both announcing they would sit out this year's ceremony, the academy's president said it was time for major changes — and soon.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs issued a statement promising more diversity, and quickly.
On Instagram, Lee said he "cannot support" the "lily white" Oscars. Lee — who in November was given an honorary Oscar at the Governors Awards — said he was fed up: "Forty white actors in two years and no flava at all," he wrote. "We can't act?!"
In a video message on Facebook, Pinkett Smith also said she wouldn't attend or watch the Oscars in February. Pinkett Smith, whose husband, Will Smith, wasn't nominated for his performance in the NFL head trauma drama "Concussion," said it was time for people of color to disregard the Academy Awards.
"Begging for acknowledgment, or even asking, diminishes dignity and diminishes power," she said.
Last year's all-white acting nominees also drew calls for a boycott. Whether it had any impact or not, the audience for the broadcast, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, was down 16 percent from the year prior, a six-year low.
Sting, Gabriel plan tour
Sting and Peter Gabriel had so much fun the last time they toured together they thought they'd do it again. Some three decades after they first met, they're joining forces, bands and songs for a series of shows across the U.S. and Canada. They are promising each other free rein over their joint back tracks, so there will be song-swapping on stage. The tour kicks off on June 21 in Columbus, Ohio, and finishes up in Edmonton, Alberta, on July 24.
Detained: Ric O'Barry, star of the Oscar-winning documentary "The Cove," about a dolphin-killing village in Japan, was detained by immigration authorities at Tokyo's international airport. He said immigration officials barred him at the airport Monday and told him he couldn't enter Japan on a tourist visa because he wasn't a tourist, according to his lawyer, Takashi Takano. Takano said officials accused O'Barry of having close ties with the anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd, which O'Barry denies.
Charged: Taiwo Sobamowo has been charged with posing as a nurse at the hospice where Bobbi Kristina Brown spent her final days. Brown, the child of singers Bobby Brown and the late Whitney Houston, died July 26, six months after she was found unresponsive in a bathtub in January 2015.