Jamie Foxx pokes fun at #OscarsSoWhite backlash during speech

"All these Oscars talks, I don't even trip about that" said actor

Oscar winning actor Jamie Foxx has been quoted with playing down and poking fun at the current diversity row surround Hollywood in the run up to the 2016 Oscars.

In a speech the actor gave yesterday (22 February) at the American Black Film Festival Awards, Foxx took a light hearted approach to the diversity row, which has seen the likes of Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith and Helen Mirren comment on the issues surrounding a lack of diversity in this year’s Oscars nominations list.

According to Us Weekly, Foxx – who picked up the Oscar for Best actor in 2005 for his depiction of Ray Charles – joked about what all the fuss was about.

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“All these Oscar talks, I don’t even trip about that. I mean, what’s the big deal? I was sitting at home with my Oscar, like ‘What’s all the hubbub?'”

He then quoted fellow African-American Oscar winner Denzel Washington, saying, “My friend said, ‘Are you mad?’ ‘Um, kind of, but not really’. I started calling Denzel, and we just Instagrammed our Oscars together.”

But the actor ended his speech on a more poignant note as he recalled a conversation he had with the first ever African-American Oscar winner, Sidney Poitier.

“I was with Sidney Poitier just a couple weeks ago, and in 1963 all he asked for was an opportunity to act,” he explained. “That’s all we have to do, opportunity. If you turn the camera on and say ‘OK… win an award… and action…’ we’ll all have taken, like, 10 steps back. It’s all about the art. Who cares about anything else?”

Read more: Morgan Freeman speaks on Oscars diversity, says ‘we need more writers’

Meanwhile, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, Pharrell and Lady Gaga are set to appear at this year’s Oscars ceremony.

Last year’s winners John Legend and Common are also due to perform as are The Weeknd and Sam Smith, both of whom are nominated for Best Original Song.

A current list of everyone set to appear at the 88th Academy Awards is available on the Oscars’ website.

Of the musicians named, only Grohl was specified as a performer.

The event will be hosted by Chris Rock who recently became the latest person to criticise the annual awards for showing a lack of diversity.

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No black actors nominated in any of the major categories for the second year in a row. Just like in 2015, #OscarsSoWhite was trending on Twitter as fans expressed their outrage at history repeating itself.

In a recent promotional clip for the awards, which he will host on February 28, Rock makes reference to the outrage and labelled the Oscars “The White BET Awards”. Rock did, however, give a list of three things people can still tune in to see; “Presenter cleavage,” to “Check out who died this year” and “I might curse.”

No black actors nominated in any of the major categories for the second year in a row. Just like in 2015, #OscarsSoWhite was trending on Twitter as fans expressed their outrage at history repeating itself.

Rock, who recently claimed that Jennifer Lawrence’s problems with equal pay in Hollywood would be worse if she was black, will host the Oscars for the second time when he helms this year’s event. Actor Neil Patrick Harris served hosted last year, drawing the show’s lowest ratings in six years.

Other recent hosts have included Jon Stewart (2006 and 2008), Ellen DeGeneres (2007 and 2014), Hugh Jackman (2009), Billy Crystal (2012), Seth MacFarlane (2013), and the pairings of Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin (2010) and James Franco and Anne Hathaway (2011).