Picture courtesy of http://www.dallasnews.com
Well, the Academy Awards have come and gone and the majority of the world is rejoicing Leonardo DiCaprio’s well deserved, if overdue Oscar win. The overshadowing subject was the lack of diversity in the nominations and Chris Rock’s humor in regards to the subject. I for one am very disappointed in how he chose to host the awards and felt it was overkill. For me, it came across as whiny, pouty and pathetically entitled. I have no problem with him addressing the issue and wholeheartedly agree with the movement to diversify the nominees, but to go on and on and on with every skit poking fun at the issues and honestly being downright obnoxious did not help the cause.
Where I feel Chris Rock fell short is primarily making it a black and white issue. It is about all races and our need for representation of more than a majority of one race. The skits came across more as poking fun at the issue as opposed to trying to bring attention to it for change. From my point of view, the skits were more a slap in the face than a humorous effort of support. It seemed more like a mockery of a very real issue in the entertainment industry and I could barely stomach watching a ceremony I usually enjoy.
I am tired of this race war and I am saddened that in this day and age, we do not have people with a platform representing real issues with the class and dignity warranted for such issues. I read through several comments on Facebook singing the praises of Chris Rock. There is no doubt he got his point across but at what cost? Did his antics set us back or did they indeed give momentum to the diversity movement? That remains to be seen.
I am grateful that Chris Rock, Will and Jada Smith have used their celebrity to bring light to an issue that has called for change for decades. However, I would like to see more than social media posts, interviews and sarcastic skits. These celebrities have millions and if they really want to see more diversity, they all have avenues available to them to BE the change. For example, Will Smith owns a production company that can very well produce nothing but movies with diverse characters. Even beyond that, the Academy is not the end all be all for talent. Ice Cube has plans to one day run his own movie studio. Is that not a route that more could take and work to oversaturate the market with the diversity they long to see?
In my opinion, there is too much emphasis on this golden award. The diverse talent in the industry should be not wait to be validated by the Academy. I am more about the art and it reaching the masses. OWN and the Telemundo are definitely examples of diverse networks and what the world needs to be pushing for as opposed to a freaking trophy.
That’s just my opinion though. What say you? Let’s respectfully chat via Twitter tonight at 7pm CST @maraprose using hashtag #LetsTalkProse
Next week, I am proud to welcome Jena C. Henry, author of The Golden Age of Charli series as my special guest blogger.
Until next time…
~ Mara Prose