Nick Cannon insists high profile black celebrities shouldn’t “waste their voice” slamming the lack of diversity in the Academy Awards nominations.
The America’s Got Talent host has shared a two-minute clip of him reading out a poem called “Oscar,” in which he slams the Oscars as being “fake gold and plastic” and says his fellow stars should be voicing their opinions about more important struggles, such as issues in Syria.
In the black and white video uploaded on his Facebook account, the 35-year-old rapper – the ex-husband of Mariah Carey – is seen sitting on a staircase as he reads out the powerful poem.
He says: “Why we trust what the news say anyway? It’s blasphemous, don’t get distracted by these lottery tickets and statues. It’s just fake gold and plastic. We come from Pharaohs with no masters. What happened? We went from golden tombs to closed caskets.”
The TV presenter claims stars are getting “distracted” by hitting out at the awards when there are far wider issues facing the black community.
He raps: “What about my mother raising a son while working three jobs and still equating to less than minimum wage? What about me being placed on medication before my system could age? What about that prison industrial system turning Brothers into new slaves? Where’s the outrage? Where the complaints at? Overcoming obstacles, definition of Black. Hashtag #facts.
“But I guess they don’t make no awards for that. Real talk. Real kings don’t need no pats on the back. #Dontbedistracted.”
Nick goes on to admit he will be watching the Academy Awards and is looking forward to seeing Chris Rock “be the Master” of the event when he hosts the ceremony.
He says: “Talent and brilliance? Hands down, man we got that s**t. That’s why I told Chris, man go ‘head and rock that s**t. You got the Juice now. Fight the Power.
“Hell yeah, I’m gonna watch that ceremony where they gonna let a black man be the Master for at least two hours.
“So don’t waste your voice, don’t waste your prayers. Save’em for the thousands killed in Nigeria, Kenya, The Philippines, Syria or right here in our urban areas.”
Following the comments, which has led to a #OscarsSoWhite hashtag trending on Twitter, Charlotte Rampling – who is up for Best Actress at this year’s Academy Awards for her role in movie 45 Years – said it would be “racist to whites” for those snubbing the Oscars not to attend.
But the star has since admitted she regrets her comments, and insists she was “misinterpreted.”