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Wed Sep 28 05:28:03 SAST 2016

Quincy Jones issues Oscar ultimatum

Bang Showbiz | 21 January, 2016 12:22
Music producer Quincy Jones
Image by: FRED PROUSER

Quincy Jones has been asked to present at this year's Academy Awards but won't be doing so if he isn't allowed to speak on the ''lack of diversity''.

The 82-year-old musician - has been asked to take a role in this year's ceremony and though he won't be joining the likes of Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith in snubbing the event, he does have conditions he wants to be met by the Academy before he'll get involved.

He said: ''Spike pulled out, Jada pulled out, ''I've been involved with Academy longer than I care to remember. I was the first black board member, the first black conductor - I hate 'first black' because that means 'only.' I want the young African-American kids to know that the door is open.

''They called me to go present with Pharrell and Common. When I'm back [in LA], I'm going to ask to let me speak for five minutes on the lack of diversity. If not, I'm not going to [present].''

Jones thinks the lack of nominations for minorities is ''frightening'' and he wants to help ''solve and fix'' the problem. Speaking in Miami during a Q&A with producer Norman Lear, conducted by Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, he said: ''There's two ways to protest it,'' Jones said. ''You can boycott it or you can solve it and fix it. It's frightening to see [nominees] 90% white and 80% white males. It's ridiculous. It's wrong.''

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