Thursday, 28 January 2016


Unless you quite literally live underneath a rock and have no access to any [social] media, you’ll be aware of the current row concerning the list of exclusively white Oscars nominees. Naturally, or not so much depending on your perspective on the matter, quite a number of [black] people, both high profile and otherwise, are VEX!

Take a moment to ponder these words said by Eddie Murphy in 1989 at the 60th Academy Awards! “They haven’t recognised black people in motion pictures. It’s about every 20 years we get one… I just feel that we have to be recognised as a people”.

Notably, following Sidney Poitier’s Oscars award [Best Actor] for his performance in Lilies of the Field, just 4 black actors have won in the top categories. A mere 5 black actors in over 80 years of The Academy Awards history!

Back to the here are now… Spike Lee [who was awarded an honorary Oscars, Governors Award, 2015] had this to say, “….any protest should instead be directed towards increasing the number of minority ethnic people working in the film industry.” He went on to say, “….the work is what’s important because, that’s what’s going to stand for years not an award.”

George Clooney said, “I think African Americans have a real fair point, that the industry isn’t representing them well enough….. The Oscars are moving backwards on diversity”.

Jada Pinkett-Smith shared her views [in the video below] calling for a boycott.

Janet Hubert responded to Jada [via her Facebook page] with some very valid points!


In the meantime Stacey Dash took the argument to another level by saying, “Either we want to have segregation or integration and if we don’t want segregation then we need to get rid of the BET Awards and the Image Awards where you’re only awarded if you’re black. If it was the other way around we’d be up in arms. It’s a double standard”.

Here's the thing, I am definitely with Jada Pinkett-Smith [minus the boycott stance] on the basis that there are so many actors of various origins who are super deserving of Oscars recognition who are too often overlooked and, dare I say, massively so in comparison to a number of those who continue to receive such status year in, year out. However, I find it interesting that the debate surrounding the Oscars has seen some black folks lock horns instead of a united front. I'm also concerned about nobody having included other categories [of people/groups] who are affected. It is not only black people who remain somewhat at the bottom of the diversity chain!

Regarding the Oscars row, perhaps it’s a matter of taking a public stand without trying to instigate a movement that is more likely to have a long-term, negative impact on the very group wanting a positive change [for themselves]. If a particular group choose not to attend certain events out of protest they may only do themselves a further disservice. You can still be involved with such things while you move forward with a quest to bring about a positive, long-term change that is beneficial for all. Being absent; not being seen, or choosing to turn your back on a potential platform isn’t likely to do anyone any good. Be present and active among your peers/colleagues etc, as part of your movement, with grace and passion. You’re not bitter, right? You’re frustrated and there’s a huge difference.

Cheryl Boone Isaacs, President of the Academy, admitted to being “heartbroken” over all-white nominations [for a second year] and has stated that the organisation will review its “membership recruitment”. She added, “It’s time for big changes. In the coming days and weeks we will conduct a review to bring about much-needed diversity”.

Whichever way you choose to look at the matter, one thing's for sure, it’s not right!

Again, the issue of diversity is not one strictly applicable to the award season, as echoed by Whoopi Goldberg [while speaking on U.S TV show The View] and Idris Elba during his speech to the UK Parliament in Westminster, London which called for greater representation in film and TV. Essentially confirming what we all already know: The movement for change [from sexism to ageism and the rest] needs to be a regular effort not seasonal.

Sir Ian McKellen's statement that "no openly gay man has ever won an Oscar", claiming that homophobia is also a big problem [amongst Academy voters], is a further blow to the forthcoming Oscars ceremony and his comments need to be noted and actioned!! Why di rarse, in this day and age, are we still having to deal with this frigging madness? It's flipping ridiculous and I am so sick of it all. Choopse!!

In other similar news: RACE ROW, part 2!

I'm not sure how to support the movement of bridging the diversity gap beyond this post however, I know that it will be far more effective for those on board to ensure they are driven by the desire to make a positive difference as opposed to stepping on one group in order to elevate another. None of us want to put ourselves further back so, be careful the stance you take…

This post is the sharing of one person’s OPINION to which we are all entitled.

LIVE OSCAR SUNDAY [The 88th Academy Awards] February 28th 
on ABC [to be] hosted by Chris Rock.

Thanks for reading! x
Images above: Google
Image below: Shining Concept, edited by C Jai

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