Spike Lee said on Monday that he wouldn't attend the 2016 Academy Awards ceremony to protest the lack of black actors and actresses in the all-white pool of nominees.
The black filmmaker made the announcement in an Instagram post Monday morning, where he quoted the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and said he meant no offense to the Academy itself.
"We cannot support it and [I] mean no disrespect to my friends, host Chris Rock and producer Reggie Hudlin, president [Cheryl Boone] Isaacs and the Academy," Lee wrote in the post. "But, how is it possible for the second consecutive year all 20 contenders under the acting category are white? And let's not even get into the other branches. Forty white actors in two years and no flava at all. We can't act?! WTF!!"
Lee, who was honored with an honorary Oscar at last year's Governors Awards, said it was "no coincidence" he was writing the post on the 30th's anniversary of King's birthday.
"Dr. King, said 'There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it's right,'" he wrote. "For too many years, when the Oscar nominations are revealed, my office phone rings off the hook with the media asking me my opinion about the lack of African-Americans and this year was no different. For once (maybe), I would like the media to ask all the white nominees and studio heads how they feel about another all-white ballot. If someone has addressed this and I missed it then I stand mistaken."
See photos of the 2016 Academy Award nominees:
Lee admonished the Academy in 2015 when he accepted his award, saying, "We can talk, you know, yabba, yabba, yabba, but we need to have some serious discussion about diversity, and get some flave up in this! This industry is so far behind sports, it's ridiculous," Lee continued, saying it was "easier to be president of the United States as a black person than be head of a studio. Honest."
His boycott of the 2016 Oscars follows other leading black voices in Hollywood criticizing the lack of diversity.
Even Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, a black woman, said she was "disappointed" by this year's lack of black nominees. "Of course I am disappointed," she told Deadline.
"This is not to take away the greatness (of the films nominated). This has been a great year in film, it really has across the board. You are never going to know what is going to appear on the sheet of paper until you see it," she added, while acknowledging the Academy needed to "speed it up" in terms of increasing its diversity efforts.