Tuesday night BET aired this year’s American Black Film Festival’s (ABFF) awards, which honored Black creatives in both film and TV. The show featured an all-star lineup, paid homage to folks like Diahann Carroll, Don Cheadle, Will Packer, Ryan Coogler, and Regina King.
During the ceremony, actor and comedian Jamie Foxx took a few minutes to discuss the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, but not quite in the way most people expected.
Before presenting producer Will Packer with his award, Foxx poked fun at Will Smith’s accent in Concussion, and said he and Denzel Washington–two Oscar winners–didn’t care about the lack of diversity of this year’s nominees because they’ve already won the coveted award.
“All these Oscar talks, I don’t even trip about that,” said during the show. “I mean, what’s the big deal? I was sitting at home with my Oscar, like ‘What’s all the hubbub?’”
Fox continued: “Me and Denzel were like, ‘Hashtag what’s the big deal? Hashtag act better.’”
While Foxx’s jokes had attendees rolling with laugher, over on Twitter not everyone appreciate his humor.
— A_Nicole (@AlexNicole079) February 24, 2016
— (mac)(kenz)ie (@mackdougs) February 24, 2016
— Ci (@motherearthgod) February 24, 2016
@iamjamiefoxx = coonery
— Spook at the door… (@NoeticBeast) February 24, 2016
Though Foxx cracked turned the conversation about Hollywood’s diversity problem into a funny moment, he said when it comes to Black actors, awards shouldn’t matter.
“I was with Sidney Poitier just a couple weeks ago, and in 1963 all he asked for was an opportunity to act,” he 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 10 steps back. It’s all about the art. Who cares about anything else?”