There has been much written about #OscarsSoWhite – I’m not even sure why there is even a debate. If you look at the voting history of the academy – it’s fair to say there is a lack of diversity across the board. Mover over; if Will and Jada Smith choose to boycott that’s their prerogative. Personally, I unfriended a few of my “friends” on Facebook due to their ignorance. One person said, “they should get over it” and implied Jada is upset simply because Will did not receive a nomination – how absurd!
Others claim nominations are based on merit not race. This would be a valid argument if non-white actors were on the same playing field. A non-white actress looking for a lead role in Hollywood may have a different point of view.
The debate is bigger than The Oscars – Hollywood is a microcosm of larger racial divides within the country. My experience working in magazine publishing for over ten years, proof positive. Having 2 or 3 “black” co-workers raises an eyebrow. Non-whites are rarely featured on covers, within the editorial pages and in advertising images. Anyone who denies an unbalanced representation of non-whites in Hollywood or elsewhere does not want to dig deeper and face the truth. That is called denial. Many are OK with the status quo and look down upon people who challenge the establishment. I applaud Will, Jada and anyone else taking a stand for equality.
I haven’t made up my mind if I will be watching. But I am very curious how host Chris Rock will handle the controversy. To be continued….
The Oscars air live February, 28th – on ABC.