Shop Talk: Oscar Discrimination

Yo you can’t escape it right now. Everybody is talking about my girl Jada’s #Oscarsowhite video. It’s all on my twitter and facebook timelines and people are coming out the woodwork to comment on it. Trump, the dark skin Aunt Viv, and her man Will Smith. First of all Aunt Viv, why are you putting family business in the street for the second time? But forget all that, let’s put this picture together and see what’s really happening.

relay-johnson_Jada_Oscar

 

Were there no movies worthy of nominations that had black participation? We had Creed, Beasts of no nation, Straight outta Compton, Concussion and last but not least Dope. Correct me if I missed anything. Let’s be honest out of all the films made this year how many featured black performers or directors? What about Latinos? Asians? Not too many when compared to the full catalog of 2016 movies. Is that why there are no nominations of people of color? Come to think of it, Why do the movies that get greenlighted all tend to take place “Long ago in a land where there’s only white people…” Damn even the movie Brooklyn has an all white cast. Same goes for television. Sitcoms tend to treat “ethnic” talent as an after thought unless the show is segregated and all black, latino or asian. Tell me I’m wrong token black chick on the Bachelor.

 

And yo, not to talk y’all ear off or nothing but think of it as a sport. If you don’t win against the best are you really number one? How do you even value your award if some of the people you’ve competed against have been type cast or excluded all together? The Academy loses credibility points right there and if you’re not credible then the Oscar should not be recognized as the highest standard of achievement in the industry until they find a solution. You can always tell when they’re about to do us wrong because they will get Chris Rock or Whoopi to host. If you really want black people to watch despite a lack of nominations they should get Paul Mooney.

 

All media is owned by 5 conglomerates and these people shape how the world sees you and your culture. People fear what or whom they don’t understand so they feel the need to control you lest their privileged position be taken away from them. They also fear the repercussions that could be expected when an oppressed group finally gets free of the effort of another class to control them. So its not in their best interest to acknowledge you. So when you watch movies like 300 you’ll see the immortals wearing masks, when the real immortals were black Persians. You’ll see Arabs playing the roles of ancient black Egyptians and the role of a hebrew named Moses who was born in Africa will be played by an English actor named Christian. How’s that for irony? Bruce Lee will get replaced by David Carradine and although you created that kung fu, or genre of music, or style of Dance, your artform will be co-opted commercialized and sold back to you without you in it, because you don’t own the medium by which YOUR art is presented to the masses.

 

So is Jada’s suggestion of an all “ethnic” awards show the solution? Or is it reverse discrimination? Though they do enjoy great privilege, white performers are not the enemy, they are fellow artists, so segregation is not the answer. The bias of the committee makes them and any institution the “enemy”. As with citizenship, business, or any joint venture, without equal ownership there will never be equal representation or acknowledgement. The solution…artists and humanity at large must not recognize institutions that value one ethnicity above another. A Own your artform!

Watch Hattie McDaniel’s Oscar acceptance speech that was reportedly written by the studio.

 I shall always be a credit to my race and to the motion picture industry. -McDaniel

 

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List of Oscar Nominees

Best Picture

The Big Short

Bridge of Spies

Brooklyn

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Room

Spotlight

Best Director

Adam McKay, The Big Short

George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant

Lenny Abrahamson, Room

Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

Best Actor

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo

Matt Damon, The Martian

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett, Carol

Brie Larson, Room

Jennifer Lawrence, Joy

Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years

Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

Best Supporting Actor

Christian Bale, The Big Short

Tom Hardy, The Revenant

Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Best Supporting Actress

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

Rooney Mara, Carol

Rachel McAdams, Spotlight

Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Best Original Screenplay

Bridge of Spies

Ex Machina

Inside Out

Spotlight

Straight Outta Compton

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Big Short

Brooklyn

Carol

The Martian

Room

Best Animated Feature

Anomalisa

Boy and the World

Inside Out

Shaun the Sheep Movie

When Marnie Was There

Best Foreign Language Film

Embrace of the Serpent

Mustang

Son of Saul

Theeb

A War

Best Documentary Feature

Amy

Cartel Land

The Look of Silence

What Happened, Miss Simone?

Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

Best Cinematography

Carol

The Hateful Eight

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant

Sicario

Best Film Editing

The Big Short

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant

Spotlight

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Production Design

Bridge of Spies

The Danish Girl

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Best Costume Design

Carol

Cinderella

The Danish Girl

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant

Best Original Score

Bridge of Spies

Carol

The Hateful Eight

Sicario

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Original Song

“Earned It,” 50 Shades Of Grey

“Manta Ray,” Racing Extinction

“Simple Song #3,” Youth

“Til It Happens to You,” The Hunting Ground

“Writing’s on the Wall,” Spectre

Best Visual Effects

Ex Machina

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Makeup & Hairstyling

Mad Max

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out a Window and Disappeared

The Revenant

Best Sound Mixing

Bridge of Spies

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Sound Editing

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Sicario

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Documentary Short

Body Team 12

Chau Behind the Lines

Claude Lanzman

A Girl in the River

Last Day of Freedom

Best Live Action Short Film

Ave Maria

Day One

Everything Will Be Okay

Shok

Stutterer

Best Animated Short Film

Bear Story

Prologue

Sanjay’s Super Team

We Can’t Live Without Cosmos

World of Tomorrow