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Here's What People Are Doing Sunday Night To Avoid Watching The Oscars

Hollywood's Dolby Theater will be a lot fuller Sunday night than this random theater we found on Flickr. But Spike Lee and Ava DuVernay have other things to do that night — and now, so can you!
Kevin Jaako
Flickr Creative Commons
Hollywood's Dolby Theater will be a lot fuller Sunday night than this random theater we found on Flickr. But Spike Lee and Ava DuVernay have other things to do that night — and now, so can you!

If you're tired of overwhelming whiteness at the Academy Awards, you're in good company. Famous people and normals alike have expressed indignation over the fact that for the second year in a row, zero people of color were nominated for any acting award. BuzzFeed compiled a list of celebrities, like Snoop Dogg and Will Smith, who will be boycotting this year's Oscars over that fact.

Turns out, there is plenty to do Sunday night besides waiting to see which white person will get a prize.

For instance, Ava DuVernay will attend a benefit to support the victims of the Flint water crisis, along with Creed director Ryan Coogler, Janelle Monae and comedian Hannibal Buress, who's hosting the event. Spike Lee, who received an honorary Oscar last year, will be spending the night courtside at a New York Knicks game this year. April Reign, creator of the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, has asked people to join her in watching and live-tweeting The Wood, a 1999 comedy starring Omar Epps.

Others will still be attending an awards ceremony — but it won't be the Oscars. All Def Digital, a Russell Simmons venture,is hosting its own awards ceremony in a clear counter-programming snub at the Academy, where they'll shout out the best of the best in categories like "Best Helpful White Person" and "Best Black Survivor in a Movie." Tony Rock, brother of Chris, who's this year's Oscars host, will be the master of ceremonies, and you can watch the whole thing over at Fusion.

Noncelebrities have also been proactive in creating Academy Award alternatives. CineSPEAK, a nonprofit based in Philadelphia, arranged a "Boycott The Oscars" series, where they'll give tribute to films that were overlooked by the Oscars in the past. The series will debut with a screening of Spike Lee's 1986 She's Gotta Have It and a panel discussion on race and film.

If you're a) not a celebrity and b) can't get to Philly in time, don't fret. Code Switch has scoped out some more ways you can celebrate film — and the work of people of color in film — Sunday night. Here are a few we liked.

If you want to spend the evening alone:

  • Try curling up with one of these books about people of color in Hollywood, courtesy of Bustle. They range from serious (like bell hooks' Reel to Reel: Race, Sex, and Class at the Movies)to funny (Mindy Kaling's Why Not Me?)
  • If you're looking to hang out with some friends:

  • Do a Facebook search for "boycott Oscars." You'll find all sorts of events at local shops and bars for like-minded Oscars naysayers. Asheville, N.C., for example, will host an Anti-Oscars Film Screening at a local coffee shop.
  • If you still want Oscars glam, plus a few more black and brown people:

  • Have an anti-Oscars viewing party by tuning into the livestream version of the All Def Movie Awards Sunday night over at Fusion. You can also catch the broadcast on Sunday at 7p.m. EST on Fusion's cable network.
  • Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Corrected: February 25, 2016 at 12:00 AM EST
    An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that Mark Ruffalo would boycott this year's Oscars ceremony. He is in fact attending, but said on Twitter, "I do support the Oscar Ban movement's position that the nominations do not reflect the diversity of our community."