FAU professor: Oscar boycott would not have desired effect

A marketing professor, Paul Koku, tells the media why the #OscarsSoWhite boycott won’t work


Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.

Ryan Lynch, Multimedia Editor

Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony has been surrounded by controversy and is being scrutinized in the public eye because of the so-called “lack of diversity” of the nominated films and actors.

Social media users are using the tag #OscarsSoWhite — which is gaining prominence on Twitter — to call for viewers and actors to boycott the show.

Paul Koku, a professor of marketing within FAU’s College of Business, says that a boycott of the show will not have the desired effect protesters want. He believes that successful boycotts are a long-term commitment that need a specific message and goal, which Koku thinks an Oscars boycott would lack.

“I don’t think their objective has been clearly articulated,” Koku said to PR Newswire in a news release. “For a boycott to be effective it has to be well-crafted, well-organized and it takes time.”

One of the examples Koku gives of an effective boycott is the Delano Grape Strike. Led by Cesar Chavez from 1965 to 1970, the movement boycotted non-union table grapes to protest poor pay and work conditions.

Quick action by the academy would be another reason the boycott would not work, according to Koku. A recent Reuters/Ispos poll found that 44 percent of Americans would not boycott the awards ceremony.

The results of the poll, which were gathered from Feb. 8 through Feb. 16, could have been affected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ announcement that it was planning to double the number of minorities and women in the Academy by 2020.

Koku says that whether or not the changes go into effect, the academy’s fast reaction to the controversy stopped the potential for more support of the boycott.

Ryan Lynch is the multimedia editor of the University Press. For tips regarding this or other articles, he can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter