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Russell Simmons: 'Hollywood Needs to Wake Up!'

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Russell Simmons Carmen Marc Valvo
Today, in an open letter, Russell Simmons shared his feelings on the Academy Awards, race, and Hollywood. "Someone needs to take the pin out of the Hollywood bubble, just as they have done within the music industry and the advertising world," he wrote on Global Grind.

In its essence, he claims there's a huge disconnect between Hollywood and its audience.

"No disrespect to the winners, but the consensus seemed to be that the audience felt left out," the letter reads. "White bread had gone moldy stale. The sad part is it doesn't have to be this way. Hollywood is just misinformed because those who run it are isolated from their consumers."

Could he be on to something?

"[Hollywood] might not believe that America is ready for integration, but ratings don't lie. America itself has a long way to go where we all will be living in a true post-racial reality, but we’re evolving to that place. Hollywood and the Oscars need to follow suit."

Simmons compared Rihanna to Katy Perry and said they may appear "dissimilar" but have more similarities in the "eyes of pop culture." "It's a telling statistic that this year's Grammy Awards drew in almost 40 million viewers, eclipsing the Oscar ratings for the first time in history. Why? Because music executives couldn't segregate artists if they tried!"

Throughout the letter, Simmons echoes what many have seen all along -- a post racial America is on the horizon. "Sure, it's true that many executives who live in Beverly Hills don't live in one -- yet. But many aspire to it and thirst for it in the programming they consume. Hollywood has good intentions, but no sensitivity. It clearly has no real understanding of how America is evolving."

Do you believe Hollywood is disconnected from the rest of America?

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