Academy Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx took the stage at the American Black Film Festival Awards and hit the crowd with one of his numerous fortes — comedy.
Foxx, who won a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Ray Charles in the 2004 movie “Ray,” dug right in to the controversy over an all-white group of nominees for major acting awards at the 2016 Oscars — the second year in a row it’s happened.
“All these Oscar talks, I don’t even trip about that,” Fox began, according to US Weekly. “I mean, what’s the big deal? I was sitting at home with my Oscar, like ‘What’s all the hubbub?’”
Foxx, who was on stage Sunday to introduce producer Will Packer for the Distinguished ABFF Alumni Award, added that he “started calling Denzel [Washington], and we just Instagrammed our Oscars together.”
As the crowd laughed, the magazine added that Foxx called out a hashtag with two words that no one in the crowd is likely to forget: “#ActBetter.”
But Foxx didn’t leave the microphone without sealing his message with a serious observation stemming from his recent chat with Sidney Poitier, the first black Best Actor Oscar winner.
“In 1963, all he asked for was an opportunity to act,” Foxx told the audience, US Weekly said. “That’s all we have to do, opportunity. If you turn the camera on and say ‘OK, win an award, and action,’ we’ll all have taken, like, 10 steps back. It’s all about the art. Who cares about anything else?”
Black stars such as Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, along with black director Spike Lee, are boycotting this year’s Academy Awards over the all-white acting nominees. Black comedian Chris Rock is hosting the Oscars, which is adding to the intrigue over this Sunday’s event.