HOLLYWOOD — Just days before the 88th Academy Awards are to take place, “Don’t Mess With the Zohan” star Adam Sandler became the latest Hollywood power player to announce he is boycotting the industry’s most prestigious awards, an announcement that was immediately met with incredulous laughter among film fans and industry insiders who refused to believe Sandler was even invited to the much-ballyhooed ceremony.
“This is the first time Adam Sandler has made anyone laugh in years,” said American film critic Peter Travers. “On a related note, my cat, Leonardo DiCatrio, is also ‘boycotting’ this year’s Oscars.”
Sandler, who this year is nominated for five Golden Raspberry Awards, which annually recognize the worst films of the year, offered little in the way of explanation regarding his boycott. But the 2016 Academy Awards have drawn considerable scrutiny and criticism for the lack of diversity among the nominees. For the second year in a row, the Academy nominated only white actors, prompting a boycott from Hollywood heavyweights such as director Spike Lee, actor/producer Will Smith and now, apparently, Sandler.
While Lee, Smith, and Smith’s wife, actress Jada Pinkett-Smith, have been widely lauded for boycotting the film industry’s annual exercise in self-congratulation, Sandler’s own Oscar embargo has been met with considerable scorn.
“Thanks for ruining the suspense, Adam,” said director Tom McCarthy, whose film “Spotlight” is up for six Academy Awards this Sunday, including “Best Picture” and “Best Director.” “Now all the nominees and viewers know that ‘Pixels’ apparently didn’t garner enough write-in votes to pull off the upset approximately zero Oscar prognosticators felt it might.”
“Sandler’s boycott is almost as insulting as ‘Bucky Larson,’ which admittedly is the most insulted I have ever been, both by a film and in life in general,” acclaimed director/producer Ron Howard said, referencing the infamous Sandler-produced flop from 2011. “The idea that anyone would inflict ‘Bucky Larson’ on even the most mindless of audiences just makes my blood boil.”
Despite the universally derisive response to Sandler’s boycott announcement, rumors continue to swirl that many actors are set to follow the “Grown Ups 2” star’s lead and boycott the seemingly endless 180-minute-plus ceremony. Though Sandler remains the only actor to officially announce he is joining Lee and the Smiths in protest, many within Hollywood expect Tinseltown dignitaries such as Jan-Michael Vincent, Ted McGinley, Kristy Swanson, Ken Wahl, Margot Kidder, David Faustino, Michael Jace, Alec Baldwin’s brothers, Neve Campbell, the surviving Corey, the cast of “Pointman,” Bill Kirchenbauer, Jerry Ferrara, Peter Scolari, Marc Singer, Willie Aames, Dave Coulier, Rod Steiger, Michael Dudikoff, Bruce Boxleitner, Mickey Rourke’s first face, Gil Gerard, Shelley Long, Clint Howard, Carlos Mencia, Julia Roberts’ niece’s father, Keith David, David Keith, and Richard Grieco to skip the ceremony as well.