White dominance yet again in the Oscars
“‘Straight Outta Compton’, more like ‘Straight Outta Cornell”, joked comedian Roy Wood Jr. in The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, in reference to the White writers nominated in the Oscars for the gangsta-rap film. Yes, there have been hoards of memes, tweets, art installations, debates and even a SNL spoof popping up. But why does the #OscarsSoWhite media frenzy matter so much?
The fact that the Academy proved to be ignorant towards race twice in a row makes it a little depressing an issue to be addressed in the year 2016. Shouldn’t we all be past the drone of minorities being left out? We can all acknowledge that the white-washed nominations is a matter of concern and the irony is Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs also addresses the ‘elephant in the room’ at the annual Oscars luncheon.
The Oscars has been getting much shade from actors, comedians and personalities from all background including backlashes from A-listers such as Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee, who have encouraged people to boycott the 2016 Academy Awards. But is boycott the only option and more importantly is it going to help us welcome more diversity? Whoopi Goldberg debates on the issue saying that boycott isn’t really an option and it would be an insult to Chris Rock too, who is hosting this year’s event.
President Obama too has addressed the pressing issue, noting that diversity definitely ‘makes for better art’ and that everybody ‘needs to get a fair shot’. Nominees such as Mark Ruffalo and Brie Larson have backlashed at the Academy’s reasoning too. George Clooney called out on how the industry is moving in the ‘wrong direction’ and how these few past years the minority snub has worsened.
Now many people might think were any movies or performances worth acknowledging for, or are people just blaming it on the race? The hate is real this year, as critically acclaimed performances of Idris Elba, Samuel L. Jackson, Will Smith and Michael B. Jordan were purely snubbed. Speaking of Michael B. Jordan, his movie ‘Creed’ comprising of mostly Black people didn’t receive a single nomination except Sylvester Stallone who actually was the only white guy in the film.
As Jada Pinkett Smith says, “Begging for acknowledgement or even asking for it, diminishes dignity”, which is of course true and Academy should stop being stereotypical in recognizing talent.
The Academy may mainly comprise of ‘old White dudes’, but criticizing the system might not get the results. Steve Harvey spoke out saying he had faith in Chris Rock slamming with comebacks in the show. Chris Rock has also reportedly changed his monologue due to all the White Oscar frenzy and mocked via twitter calling the Academy #WhiteBET awards. Well, his response is anticipated which can be seen on Feb 28 2016 in the screening of the main event.
SR view “well, there are a lot of ifs and buts to any industry and domain, and Oscar is no different. Having said that, two wrongs do not make one right… if you know what we men.” Do let us know your view in the comment box below!
Words: Riona Roy