D. Barbara McWhite
D. Barbara McWhite

Jada Pinkett-Smith and Spike Lee are hopping mad at the Academy Awards, with both vowing to boycott the ceremonies because no black actors made the cut.

Ms Pinkett-Smith is known to speak her mind, so I assumed she was showing out again and perhaps chewing on a few sour grapes, since her Willie didn’t garner a nomination for his starring role in “Concussion.”

And since “The Revenant” got 12 nods, my husband and I assumed the movie had to be important, so we picked up some goodies at the dollar store, packed them into my big Coach purse and headed to the matinee to see if  the movie would live up to it’s hype.

“The Revenant” is billed as the story of one man’s survival and revenge after he is abandoned in the frozen mountain after being attacked by a bear.

Two hours, $17 and a belly full of smuggled food later, we left the theater feeling duped, but with a much clearer understanding of the ire Pinkett-Smith expresses.

The movie starts out well.

Set amid towering winter mountains, Leonardo DiCaprio’s starring character is captain of a wilderness team tasked with collecting animal hides and bringing them back to their wilderness settlement.

Very quickly, though, the movie morphs into a grinding and never-ending attempt to convince the audience that the captain, (who we soon dubbed “the wonder white guy,” or WWG) could survive a savage three-peat bear attack, being buried alive, left for dead, numerous days and nights alone in the wilderness snow and ice where he single-handedly fights off more Indians than the cavalry, survives being forced into a freezing river and over a frigid waterfall, and being forced off a cliff on the back of a horse. Poor horse died, but WWG, though gravely injured and in freezing temperatures, pulled out the dead horses innards and hid inside the carcass to save himself from the elements and the Indians!

It was only when I learned that the Oscar voters are nearly 94 percent Caucasian and 77 percent male, with a median age of 64, that “The Revenant” nominations began to make sense. Black members make up only about 2 percent of the Academy, and Latino members less than 2 percent.

“The Revenant” perfectly depicts what Rev. Al Sharpton is quoted as saying: “Hollywood is like the Rocky Mountains. The higher up you get the whiter it gets, and this year’s Academy Awards will be yet another Rocky Mountain Oscar.”

So I find that I must agree with Jada and Spike that the Academy nominations are suspect.

And if this movie deserve 12 nominations, while black actors and directors from movies like “Straight Outta Compton,” “Concussion” and “Beasts of No Nation” continue to be snubbed, then on this week that we celebrate Martin Luther King Day, and in my best Dr King voice, I must say to Hollywood, “I have been to the movie theater…and I have seeeen “The Revenant.” I wont go there with you! And we, as a people, should boycott Movieland!”

D. Barbara McWhite grew up in York County, S.C., and now lives in Orange Park, Fla.