Gayle King on #OscarsSoWhite: ‘It’s Important to Show Up’ and Not Boycott the Telecast

Gayle King 2016 National CARES Mentoring
Photo by Abel Fermin/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Gayle King, co-anchor of CBS’s “This Morning,” is the latest to sound off on the lack of diversity at the Oscars. With the spread of the #OscarsSoWhite criticism and stars such as Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee announcing they won’t attend this year’s ceremony, King welcomes the heated discussion, but deems an Oscar boycott to be counterproductive.

“It’s a personal decision to go or not to go, but I believe that it’s important to show up,” King, 61, said at the National Cares Mentoring Movement’s inaugural “For the Love of Our Children” gala in New York on Monday evening. “The problem with the Oscars is bigger than the Oscars, bigger than the nominations. It really is a systemic problem. But, if I were nominated, I would be there. I don’t know if boycotting is the way to send the right message. I want them to know that we are here, we care and changes need to be made.”

For the second year in a row, people of color were shut out of the acting categories and all of the films nominated for best picture focus on stories about white people. King — an avid moviegoer — has seen “Straight Outta Compton” and “Creed” and believes the African American actors and filmmakers from both films deserved to have been recognized.

“I saw a lot of possibilities of people that could be nominated,” she said. “If you look at a lot of the movies, there were a lot of options. So, it just shows to me that we have a lot of work to do in Hollywood.”

King praises celebrities like George Clooney, David Oyelowo and Mark Ruffalo for calling for change. She also applauds the Academy pledging to make “historic” changes to its mostly white, mostly male, membership, by doubling the number of women and minority voters by 2020.

“It’s very encouraging to see already that people are speaking up in Hollywood. People know there is a problem and I think most people want to fix it. So I remain very optimistic,” said King. “I think Ice Cube said it really well. He said, ‘I’m disappointed, but I’m not discouraged.’ And that’s exactly how I feel. You can’t get discouraged. Change doesn’t come without being discouraged.”

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  1. Amy Lee says:

    Gayle King makes a valid point. Even though she isn’t an actress, she works in the Hollywood community. Her voice and any minorities needs to be heard.

  2. Tim says:

    Gayle is gonna stay home and snuggle with Oprah. She’ll move out of the way when Stedman needs to be photo op-ed into ‘Oprah’s Oscar Party.’

  3. Black Spartacus says:

    The Hutu and Tutsi never got along in Rwanda, was it the White Man killing them? Yet birth of a nation is a big deal? It’s always convenient for African Americans of the Liberal Mindset to blame the White Man. Yet most of these Regressive’s wouldn’t stand a chance in Tribal Africa, where if you trespass on one Tribes land, you get killed or castrated! They’re not going to give you a “Free Pass” because you’re an African American. But you will be bloodied up or worse! If Black people can’t get along in Africa, what makes it any different here? Black Gangs kill innocent Black Kids in Chicago, but it’s the Evil White Man, and the NRA! Not the fact that the GUN was a stolen weapon, and the person had no respect for HUMAN LIFE! Why don’t Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith help people in Africa like Albinos who are mistreated because of the COLOR of their skin?? If a person’s life really matters to them?? But I guess it’s easier just to moan and groan and never grow up!

  4. K. Kaprow says:

    Blacks make up about 13% of the American population, therefore Hollywood films should be exactly 13% black. What is so hard to understand about that? And if a film is being made about 12th Century Scandinavia, then one must be made about 15th Century Africa, to balance things out. This would be easy to do, but first we must ensure that blacks represent 13% of all producers, directors, writers, actors, camera operators and caterers. I’m not calling for quotas, just fairness.

  5. Dick Adams says:

    Shut up Gayle….I not watching…I would not go…Not only was the nominees all white some important work by actors of color was over looked to accomplish this white out…PLUS 2015 was the peak year for hollywood making movies that SHOULD have had a few black people like Noah….Moses ect…and still not black people about historical movies about stuff that took place in Africa!

  6. BLACK MASS exodus says:

    I love when she says, “But, if I were nominated, I would be there.” That’s the exact issue. YOU, black people, have been an afterthought two years running. She may be content to be a seat filler, but I hope most black & white entertainers have higher aspirations. Show up, but show up with protest signs, educated speakers, & bullhorns.

  7. Anderson says:

    Way to go Gayle King. I agree with everything she said in this article. Great job.

  8. brownies says:


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