The Academy Awards have been ingrained in us since we were children as the best Awards show there is, with all the important movies of the world being recognized there, and the glamour quotient of which is unmatched. We have unwittingly accepted the Oscars as the final authority on who really was the best in what they did that year, and subconsciously moulded our cinematic tastes and preferences to their nominations and their winners. This year, as always, has had an exponential increase in pseudo-significance and fascination as to who the best this year really were. Though personally I always watched said show (or any awards show, for that matter) for the glam quotient and entertainment value, why do I think 88th Academy Awards must pique your interest a little more? Here’s why; for the second year in a row, there has been an absence of African- Americans in the Nomination list.
This year too all the nominations for all the acting categories are of white folk, and though last year the Academy received only criticism, this year they are facing heat for it. Many industry A-Lister blacks have decided to boycott it, and out of either a sense of moral righteousness or as a calculated reputation booster, many other A-Lister white artists have decided to support the boycott. Furthermore they have gone on to tweet or make public statements for this cause, under the tag #OscarsSoWhite. Here are a few thought snippets I offer you, to give you the low-down of the 88th’s;
First up, black people don’t really care about the Oscars. The majority of black people are too cool to be suckered into watching the Academy Awards. To them, as it is to most of us sane bystanders, the Academy Awards are basically a bunch of privileged people dressed up in fancy clothes and jewels they probably don’t own, smiling and posing with people they’re secretly trying to beat, and behave as if what they are doing matters to the world, in terms of the evolution and progress of mankind.
So why then are they making it an issue? Maybe the coloured artists of the industry feel that if there were more nominations, more black people would watch the awards show, and more would get into showbiz. This could be their way of combatting the subtle racism lurking in the shadows to this day.
Then again though, wouldn’t black people asking to be nominated be implying that the Academy should then be acknowledging racial differences and importance of minorities? Wouldn’t that then be racist? Needing the Awards to be fair (pun intended) would imply the exact opposite, which is actually what’s happening right now. It is almost as if the black union (say a congregation of all black artists, for the sake of this post), expects the Academy to pull an Indian Government and establish 40% reservation for minorities.
There are only 5 nominations per category allowed, which implies that to be nominated is a competition in itself (obviously). If in this year black artists were in the top ten but not in the top five, will the black union then be pacified? Alternatively, when there were nominations and awards in the Black folk’s favour, why wasn’t there any antagonism from the white actors?
Talking about minorities, what happened to the Hispanic, the Oriental, the European, the Asians, and the Canadian people who are in the industry? None of them seem to be bothered by this.
Now I put forth the argument that hopefully sorts the scene for you; black people too have won Oscars or been nominated in the past, right. We should have been ready for a situation like todays when black folk started celebrating when a black person had won an Oscar back then. We silently acknowledged and encouraged the racial differences right there and then, and paved the way for future instabilities.
So, basically what I’m trying to say is that, you probably shouldn’t care about the Black Boycott much, and let the Oscars continue to be “so white”. Ironically, the Oscars have entered a very grey zone with these recent affairs, and all that matters is how the TRP’s end up this year, and the nominations for next year. For all said and done, Chris Rock is still gonna be hosting the show, DiCaprio is still probably not gonna win, and we’re all gonna forget this hoopla after February the 28th.