And The Winner Is...
I wrote this blog post in February during the Academg Award controversy. I didn't publish it because I honestly was just too afraid to hit the button. So in keeping with my push to be authentic and share my views, I decided to post it now even though the controversy has passed because the issues the "black out" brought to light sadly aren't gone.
Happy reading! xo
If the Academy Award nominations are supposed to represent the best in actors and movies within a given year then it should represent a diverse group of nominees. If that's not its purpose then say that. But don't profess to be inclusive of others and then fail to honor minorities' work. This why I'm mad at this situation. I make no apologies for how I feel. No one has to agree with me and if your only counterpoint is that African Americans have the BET Awards then you completely miss the point of this discussion.
Historically, minorities have been left out of mainstream award shows unless they have mass appeal. To celebrate their people, these groups created their own award shows. There is nothing wrong with this. But we shouldn't have to that. Diversity is what makes America a great and powerful country.
Do you know what it's like to hate your name, hair or skin because your subliminally taught that your uniqueness isn't beautiful? That's the way I felt growing up in the 80’s in California watching all white programming. If it wasn't for shows like The Cosby Show, Good Times and Diff'rent Strokes, I wouldn't know a different reality; a reality where positive images of people who look like me exist on television and in film.
Please don't view this issue of racism through rose colored glasses. Think objectively, globally. The solution isn't for people of color to get over it because we've tried and doesn't work. The solution is for the industry to be inclusive. Inclusivity shows loving appreciation. We can't get there if people of color aren't even invited to the table.
If a women did a great job and a bunch of men left her out of the nominations, wouldn't you be upset? No one is asking for special treatment. But it's hard to believe that not one actor of any other ethnic group gave an Oscar worthy performance this year.
The boycott isn't perpetuating discrimination and it's truly sad that people view it that way. I'd be up in arms if a gay actor did a great job but as overlooked. Right is right and historically this has been an issue with the Oscars and the industry at large because it doesn't represent the diversity of this country. You may not agree with this issues but please don't dismiss it as frivolous because it is not.
If a movie has all black cast, like The Best Man which is just a movie about friendships and love...it's deemed a black movie even if it has a universal storyline. We shouldn't have to be middle of the road to gain mass appeal. Our lives are different and there's nothing wrong with that. But in the movies you can relate to the sentiment and emotions of the character even if you don't share his/her origin story, that's the beauty of movies and books. That's the beauty of art.
While im ranting I'd like to state that I'm tired of slave movies, it's heartbreaking and disheartening to watch what my ancestors had to endure. I'm angry at the world every time I watch one. But we can't stop talking about it because I'd rather have people remember the bad parts of history so we're not doomed to repeat it.
And the winner of this debate is...EVERYONE because while its hard to have these discussions without being super emotional or passionate, I'd rather these discussions continue; our lives and this world is already on the way to being a better place because of it.