Ice Cube on Oscars: ‘You Can’t Boycott Something You Never Went To’

“Straight Outta Compton” producer Ice Cube offered his two cents on the Oscars boycott and his N.W.A biopic’s exclusion from the Academy’s best picture category on a Friday episode of “The Graham Norton Show.”

When Norton asked Cube if he’d still attend the Feb. 28 ceremony, he responded, “I never used to go anyway. You can’t boycott something you never went to.”

On the topic of the Academy failing to recognize “Straight Outta Compton” — which received an Oscar nod for best original screenplay — in the best picture category, Cube said that being upset about the situation was like “crying about not having enough icing on your cake.”

“We don’t do movies for the industry. We do movies for the fans, for the people,” he said. “If the industry gives you a trophy or not, or pats you on the back or not, it’s nice, but it’s not something you should dwell on.” He added, “We got accolades from all levels. We got so much praise for the movie.”

The controversy surrounding the diversity of the 2016 Oscar nominees has persisted for over a week, leading industry figures like Will SmithJada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee to boycott the 2016 ceremony, and others, like Michael Caine and Charlotte Rampling, to respond to the backlash by suggesting that the actors who weren’t recognized were excluded not for their race, but because their performances weren’t deserving of a nomination.

Though Hollywood’s reaction has been mixed, the Academy announced Friday that, in an attempt to increase the number of women and minority members of the Academy,  a series of changes would be applied to its voting and recruitment procedures.

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  1. Al says:

    Give me a break! It’s the effin Oscars!! What are they going to boycott next, the Teen Choice awards?? Get your priorities straight “brothers and sisters” (<—yea, I meant it that way) and pick the battles that really matter. If you need an award to validate your performance, then you got personal issues. Return that 7 figure check if it bothers you that much.

  2. Dave Gordon says:

    Why don’t they just boycott every type of public recognition award then? Let’s start with Nobel Prize boycotts – or Pulitzers – if there aren’t any black nominees maybe it’s because they just didn’t do so well this year? Would they rather win an Oscar because they deserve it, or because they think somehow the academy owes them for their skin color? Why isn’t every other race boycotting the Oscars too – get all spanish and asians to boycott the Oscars too, it’s outrageous they rarely get any nomination at all, it must be a white thing.

    This racism issue has flipped upside down to the point that now Hollywood needs to pat black people on the back? Is this that important to you? Do you make movies to try to get an Oscar or because you love your job? If you think you’re entitled to an Oscar nomination you’re probably already doing much better off than 99% of white people, so what are you complaining about?

    Can you fathom a TV channel exclusively for white people? (I’m looking at you BET). What do you think people would say if there was a WET instead – or even if a network wanted to create a WET channel?

    I never knew Will Smith was racist in real life – I thought it was only in the Fresh Prince (every villain, awkward, dumb, criminal character there is white if you haven’t noticed – very few exceptions)

  3. rtf says:

    Cube disses the Oscars altogether. Well played.

  4. Kurt Smith says:

    I finally saw Straight out of Compton last night, and i can honestly say it was a great movie with good acting in it. But since I have not seen all the other movies that were and were not nominatrd, I cannot compare this movie to any of those and say which ones are truly deserving. Those who say they will boycott, are doing so based on and idea, but without know all the fact. What I mean, is how can they judge the quality of any of the movies, if they have not sat down to watch all of them. Sometimes a person’s emotions get the best of them and logic becomes second fiddle. Yes, they are entitled to be frustrated and upset because of what they perceive. I can never understand the way they feel because I dont walk in their shoes. All I can do is state what I know, based on what I have seen. Perhaps they should do the same!

  5. Propecia XL says:

    Stop racism!

    Fill the academy with more black members so they will vote for more black nominees. Hey wait…

  6. Fosters says:

    Spike Lee suggested that the Academy try to do what the NFL is trying to do. Base things on quotas. So in other words, another form of affirmative action, which is based on the recognition of skin color, not based on the best or most qualified person. Now that sounds fair doesn’t it ? WTF !!! The problem with Lees analogy, is that the NFL is made up of a large percentage of blacks. The actors guild and the academy is not and never will be. If Lee is truly concerned about black recognition quotas and doing the right thing. Why doesnt he start getting more concerned with the 65% of black kids being born illegit ( for decades now ) blacks scoring the lowest test scores and having the lowest academic standing of all ethnic groups in this country ( including native Indians on reservations ans illegal Hispanics ). Hard to believe but it’s true ! Lastly, let me mention the 20,000 black on black murders that take place in this country every year ( and remember, black lives matter. What a joke ! ) Mr Lee why don’t you tackle some VERY REAL AND IMPORTANT ISSUES and take some responsibility for something you can actually control and stop boring me with all this nonsense and BS ! And quite frankly, is anyone going to truly miss the prince of Bel Air at the Oscars ? I hardly doubt it.

    • Just a guy says:

      The problem with using the NFL as an example is that the NFL was wrong, you have a league in which majority of its players are black, a lot of coaches were black, but head coaches were 100% white and qualified black candidates were passed over for coaches that weren’t as qualified as them but were given the opportunity because of their skin colour.

  7. Jaddy Baddy says:

    Now that Mrs. Kanye Smith has imposed her will on the
    Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, exactly
    how will the new Affirmative Action Academy Awards
    set aside work? When you check the box for African
    American, does your name automatically appear on the
    ballot of nominees, or do they just pass out the Special
    Black Oscars, at the door?

  8. G says:

    Of course you can boycott something you’ve never been to…

    I’ve never been to a sweatshop in China, but I can totally boycott Nike and their sneakers that are made there. I’ve never been to a cow farm in Omaha (although, I have driven past them), yet I can still boycott the beef and meat that came from one.

    People, don’t blindly accept pull quotes from people that get paid to pretend they’re other people in front of a camera. Most of the things they say are far from poignant.

    • Jimmy says:

      You are missing the point. He is talking about somewhere/something you attend while you are using boycotting products as an example. That is a terrible comparison. It does not make sense.

      What he means is that he cannot boycott the Oscar’s (not ATTEND in order to protest/probe a point) because he never ATTENDED them in the first place. I’m not sure why you compared boycotting products to boycotting an event (something you ATTEND).

  9. Ivan says:

    If you watched his comment, you’ll see that this wasn’t some canned answer (for although I do like some of his work, he’s not that good of an actor – lol) As Hugh Laurie said afterwards, that was probably the sainest description of this whole awards thing.

  10. Within the letters here and those attached to other stories on the topic there continues to be mention of “old white men” and their supposed racist leanings in regards to the movies they nominate. If you believe only the introduction of younger black actors into the membership will result in more minority nominees then it can only be inferred that they will be voting primarily for minorities. That’s really the only way selections would change. Given this, stop talking like there is something wrong with who older voters choose to support. Its no different than what you are expecting out of proposed newer members.

  11. LOCKED IN says:

    I love Ice Cube’s outlook. He doesn’t make great films for the sake of winning Oscars, he makes great films for the sake of pleasing his fans and entertaining the masses. If awards happen to come his way as well, that’s just more icing on the cake. But at the same time I have much respect for Jada Smith’s poignant, stoic, and dignified outrage over the consistent overlooking of films starring black people. However, she’s a year too late for me. Last year, black actors starred in some powerhouse films and delivered some powerhouse performances that should have received recognition, SELMA, the MANDELA film, and the film about the black kid that got killed at the subway STATION by the rookie cop are just 3 of the many films desrving nominations last year as that year was unreal for black actors. This year my favorite or most amazing performances have been LEONARDO DICAPRIO In REVENATE, PAUL DANO in LOVE & MERCY, the guy that played Michael Caine’s best friend in YOUTH, the guy that played the sheriff in HATEFUL EIGHT, and RYAN REYNOLDS in THE WOMAN IN GOLD. I only saw the commercials for that transsexuals movie starring EDDIE REDMAYNE, but I can look at that and tell nobody does homosexuality like white men, so I ‘m sure de deserved a nod. (Wink)

    • Jarod Sutton says:

      The gentleman you’re thinking of in Hateful 8 is Walton goggins, I love this guy and believe more will be heard about him in the coming future. He’s been mostly a TV actor, most notably on the Shield and the recently ended Justified, which was he did an amazing job. I totally agree with you that Selma was a big time snub but not a fan of this debacle about diversity at the Oscars. Snubbing happens every year and it’s going to happen more unfortunately. Love Ice Cubes take on this, perfect.

  12. john says:

    The backlash against this boycott has been pretty strong it seems.

  13. green says:

    Ice Cube speaks truth. Fuck an award do it for your people. How the hell as a black man you suppose to know what old people from the academy looking for. Black or white some of those people whether racist or non racist those guys are 70 plus leave those geazers alone some white people been waiting for an Oscar since the civil rights movement they should enjoy. Niggas need to leave trophies alone get money. Tropics and nominations don’t pay bills!!!

  14. Michelle says:

    It’s a shame most media outlets will ignore this and make it seem like all black entertainers agree with Jada and Spike

  15. Timmy says:

    You go Ice Cube! Not like the Smiths who are not even invited and they are like no me gold I’m boycotting lol lol

  16. Jim says:

    Couldn’t have been said better. Ice Cube has common sense though. Most of these Hollywood people live up on a self-important soapbox.

  17. AYU_Dyah says:

    Ice Cube has more logic than Jada The Hutt and Will Mediocre Smith, who desperately seeking attention and using Race Card to provoke everyone.

    Love Ice Cube! He is so right..he made SOC for fans and music, not intentionally for Oscar or Awards. Like Will Mediocre or Jada The Hutt did.

    Boycott Jada The Hutt and Will Mediocre Smith, two hypocrite and manipulative trolls. I hope their career and business died soon!

  18. colig says:

    let’s be honest,the only reason he’s saying what he’s saying is he knows he has no chance in hell of ever winning an award of any kind. he is a horrible actor,maybe passably amusing at times but he will never be award worthy and he knows it so there is no harm in being noble.

  19. Ved says:

    Ice Cube the man again.
    I agree, just thought a moment ago, in a way, it is similar if someone states to boycott NBA All Star Game, for the lack of caucasian aka white players in it.

    • GT says:

      Not necessarily..the NBA is a bad example because players are drafted by coaches and GMs who are majority white and All Star voting is done by fans all over the world

  20. Paul says:

    Bout time a black filmmaker says something other than “poor me hand me a nomination based on my race, you racists!”

    Respect to Ice Cube

  21. zinnsand21 says:

    Finally someone with a non ego driven, common sense view of the Oscar Awards. Profs to Ice Cube… To think that an industry predominantly comprised of individuals who champion equal rights, who actively participate politically for equal rights would premeditatedly not vote for a performance by an actor because of color is ludicrous and speaks volumes how some would play the race card and use guilt as a method for achieving an Oscar rather than allowing the performance speak for itself..

  22. Peeved says:

    I voted for Beasts of No Nation AND Straight Out of Compton and now my Academy Membership is being reviewed to promote diversity. Wtf?! I’ve voted for black films, Asian film, Spanish films, Jewish films, Iranian films, and yes, “white” films, based solely of their excellence. Jerome is right. NBA All-stars are all-stars regardless of race. Blame the studios but the Academy is not the problem.

    • AYU_Dyah says:

      PEEVEL from now on you and all academy members and Hollywood Executives shoul ban and Boycott Jada the Hutt and her husband. They started this Race card, in fact they just desperate in seeking attention.
      Jada The Hutt and Will Mediocre Smith hide behind Race Card for addressing their disappointment for not being nominated in Oscar. BOYCOTT JADA THE HUTT AND HER FAMILY! STOP WATCHING AND BUY THEIR PRODUCTS!

  23. Very well put Ice cube the most sensible comment yet !

  24. Jerome says:

    Anyone notice the lack of diversity among the starting lineups in the NBA All-Star game? Perhaps the NBA should change its policies to ensure more diverse starters.

    • teriekwilliams says:

      Sports are based on quantifiable merit. The Oscars are based on the subjective opinion of it’s members, which can vote on any basis. So, comparing the two is “apples and oranges” in so many ways.

    • Rich says:

      Yes Jerome. And golf, tennis, and baseball. Too many African Americans in those sports. And those Winter Olympics. SMH

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