Since they were first announced, the all-white Oscar nominations have been the talk of Tinseltown and have lit up social media. I think us everyday (non-Hollywood) black folks are viewing these events as quasi-entertainment and are chuckling at how racial discrimination plays out for the elite. We may be chuckling, but we are watching.
When I shared the now infamous Jada Pinkett Smith video on Facebook, I posted the following:
My first thoughts are…Right ON! I agree but let’s see how many people of color still come to the Oscars, because you know some will. Then put this into our everyday perspective: If a bunch of black millionaires won’t take a stance and organize for what they see as an injustice…just imagine the mountain before the grassroots injustice fighters, such as #BlackLivesMatter is almost insurmountable. Regardless, Jada Pinkett Smith. Thanks for showing up and showing out! I too, would have given Chris a pass, lol.
I wonder just like everyone else: Is Chris Rock really going to host the Oscars? On the right, you got Tyrese and 50Cent saying, “don’t do it, brotha!” On the left, there is Whoopi Goldberg stating, “Boycotting the Oscars is boycotting Chris Rock,” and urging him honor his contract. Then, what about the notably silent actors such as Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker or Viola Davis? Are these primetime money makers going to put their future earnings on the line to take a public stance?
Personally, I do not agree with Whoopi. Whoopi was way off base, in my humble opinion. People of color supporting a ban on Oscars is not a slap of disrespect to Chris Rock. Chris Rock will have to decide if he is going to laugh all the way to the stage, and then the bank. However, if he does perform for the Oscar’s, we will never let him live it down. Chris will be the ultimate punchline for years to come.
That is the price he will pay. He will keep his black card, but his line of street credit will forever be decreased.
Maybe both sides have it wrong. The Advocate.com recently published a piece by Jasmyne Cannick titled “Black Hollywood Doesn’t Need to Boycott Oscars, White Hollywood Does”. The blog points out the Oscars have a predominantly white fan base and therefore white Hollywood folks needs to be absent in solidarity with black Hollywood. Cannick squarely puts the issue in the majority’s court.
The Oscars are Feb.28th, roughly a month away. I wonder how many black lives will be lost in that time? Moreover, how will this conversation of the #OscarsSoWhite still manage to be relevant?