When this year's Academy Awards nominees were unveiled, a sadly predictable story started to unfold. The spot-on hashtag #OscarsSoWhite found little difficulty delivering its unfortunate sequel, given that diversity was once again largely absent from the display of nominated faces:

As the debate started to catch fire, many used their respective platforms to highlight the very real problem facing Hollywood's increasingly failed attempts at truly representing its audience. "At the Oscars…people of color are always welcomed to give out awards...even entertain, but we are rarely recognized for our artistic accomplishments," Jada Pinkett-Smith tweeted shortly after the nominees were revealed. "Should people of color refrain from participating all together?"

Spike Lee is doing exactly that, revealing his decision to boycott this year's festivities in an impassioned Instagram message on Monday. "We cannot support it and [I] mean no disrespect to my friends, host Chris Rock, producer Reggie Hudlin, president Isaacs, and the Academy," the Chi-Raq wrote. "But how is it possible for the [second] consecutive year all 20 contenders under the actor category are white?"


#OscarsSoWhite... Again. I Would Like To Thank President Cheryl Boone Isaacs And The Board Of Governors Of The Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts And Sciences For Awarding Me an Honorary Oscar This Past November. I Am Most Appreciative. However My Wife, Mrs. Tonya Lewis Lee And I Will Not Be Attending The Oscar Ceremony This Coming February. We Cannot Support It And Mean No Disrespect To My Friends, Host Chris Rock and Producer Reggie Hudlin, President Isaacs And The Academy. But, How Is It Possible For The 2nd Consecutive Year All 20 Contenders Under The Actor Category Are White? And Let's Not Even Get Into The Other Branches. 40 White Actors In 2 Years And No Flava At All. We Can't Act?! WTF!! It's No Coincidence I'm Writing This As We Celebrate The 30th Anniversary Of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr'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". For Too Many Years When The Oscars 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. As I See It, The Academy Awards Is Not Where The "Real" Battle Is. It's In The Executive Office Of The Hollywood Studios And TV And Cable Networks. This Is Where The Gate Keepers Decide What Gets Made And What Gets Jettisoned To "Turnaround" Or Scrap Heap. This Is What's Important. The Gate Keepers. Those With "The Green Light" Vote. As The Great Actor Leslie Odom Jr. Sings And Dances In The Game Changing Broadway Musical HAMILTON, "I WANNA BE IN THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENS". People, The Truth Is We Ain't In Those Rooms And Until Minorities Are, The Oscar Nominees Will Remain Lilly White. (Cont'd)

A photo posted by Spike Lee (@officialspikelee) on

"For too many years, when the Oscar nominations were 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," Lee said, adding that it was "no coincidence" he shared this message near the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birth. "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."