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Transgender Oscar nominee Anohni boycotting ceremony

Transgender Oscar nominee Anohni is refusing to attend Sunday’s (28Feb16) ceremony because he did not receive an invitation to perform at the awards bash.
The musician was nominated in the Best Original Song category for her song Manta Ray, which appears in Racing Extinction, a documentary about climate change.
However, while fellow nominees The Weeknd, Lady Gaga, and Sam Smith were all given performance slots at the prizegiving at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theatre, Anohni was overlooked.
In a lengthy post on her website, published on Thursday (25Feb16), the singer/songwriter wrote that although she did not believe Academy bosses discriminated against her due to her transgender status, the decision to overlook her in favour of more commercial artists left her feeling too embarrassed to attend.
“Last night I tried to force myself to get on the plane to fly to LA for all the nominee events, but the feelings of embarrassment and anger knocked me back, and I couldn’t get on the plane,” she writes.
“I imagined how it would feel for me to sit amongst all those Hollywood stars, some of the brave ones approaching me with sad faces and condolences. There I was, feeling a sting of shame that reminded me of America’s earliest affirmations of my inadequacy as a transperson. I turned around at the airport and went back home…
“I want to be clear – I know that I wasn’t excluded from the performance directly because I am transgendered. I was not invited to perform because I am relatively unknown in the U.S., singing a song about ecocide, and that might not sell advertising space. It is not me that is picking the performers for the night, and I know that I don’t have an automatic right to be asked.”
Anohni’s decision to avoid the event is the latest controversy to engulf the Academy Awards, as a number of stars including Will Smith and Spike Lee are boycotting Sunday’s Awards show in protest at the lack of black actors up for the top prizes.

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