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Jamie Foxx, Oscar Winner, Jokes About #OscarsSoWhite Backlash: What’s the Big Deal?

Jamie Foxx
Jamie Foxx speaks onstage during the 2016 ABFF Awards: A Celebration Of Hollywood at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 21, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.  

He’s not even mad! Jamie Foxx poked fun at the ongoing #OscarsSoWhite controversy on Sunday, February 21, during his speech at the American Black Film Festival Awards in Beverly Hills.

Foxx, who won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 2005 for his role as Ray Charles in the film Ray, said he doesn’t know what everyone is in an uproar about since he’s already got his gold statuette. “All these Oscar talks, I don’t even trip about that,” he joked. “I mean, what’s the big deal? I was sitting at home with my Oscar, like ‘What’s all the hubbub?”

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“My friend said, ‘Are you mad?’ ‘Um, kind of, but not really,’” Foxx continued as he was introducing producer Will Packer for the Distinguished ABFF Alumni Award. “I started calling Denzel [Washington], and we just Instagrammed our Oscars together.”

The Annie actor called out “#WhatsTheBigDeal?” and “#ActBetter” as the audience laughed. On a more serious note, Foxx also discussed a recent conversation with Sidney Poitier, the first African-American to win an Oscar for Best Actor.

Jamie Foxx with his award for ‘Best Actor in a Leading Role’ for ‘Ray’ poses backstage during the 77th Annual Academy Awards on February 27, 2005, at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California.

“I was with Sidney Poitier just a couple weeks ago, and in 1963 all he asked for was an opportunity to act,” Foxx said. “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?”

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Stars like Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, Stacey Dash, Chris Rock and even President Barack Obama have all voiced opinions on the scandal after it was announced that all nominees across major acting categories are white for the second year in a row. In response, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences pledged to double its minority membership by 2020. 

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