Hello Truthful Realists,
Today I come to you about a topic that the media has so nicely dubbed “#OscarsSoWhite”. It is a topic that I discuss fairly often now due to my small circle of friends and family who so blindly follow the media’s suggestions on what is important. If you have been hiding from the world lately, you may not know that there is apparently a campaign out to talk about the Oscars (also known as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, or Academy Awards) having a lack of diversity for the second time around. The main group crying fault are African-American actors who feel that they are not included properly. This will be our subject of discussion today. Put on your facemask and sound machine (Well, maybe not your facemask, as you have to read) and enjoy.
I, for one, could care less about this situation, as I personally cannot remember watching an award show in about 10 years. That being said, I have to give it to whoever is working in the marketing department of the Oscars this year. Not only did they piss off a lot of people, but they also found a way to get a shit-ton of publicity without really advertising. I cannot say that this has their name on it, but I’m sure they are willing to take the paycheck. What I must say is that people must not be realizing that, while spreading the hashtag OscarsSoWhite, they are actually reminding people that the Oscars are coming up. Sure, the Oscars might not be ‘Dancing with the Stars’ or the premiere of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, but some people actually care about seeing their favorite actor/actress/producer/writer/movie get handed a useless statue (As if the money they received wasn’t enough recognition….).
Now here is my gripe with this issue. Why should anyone care? Last time I checked, movies were made for the audience. When did movies start being made to be shown to a bunch of old men who have a membership to an organization? When did these old men’s decisions dictate what the audience felt was good? I’ll wait for your answer…. See, the thing that people are failing to understand is that the Oscars are just what “Some People” liked for the year. They have no standing on what ALL OF THE WORLD thought of a movie. I personally think that every fast and furious movie should have one, but that’s just me. I doubt you will ever see that happen. Want to know why? Because this isn’t the “Truthful Reality Motion Picture Awards”. It’s the “Bunch of Old Men Who Miss the 50’s” award. I’m sure of they had their choice James Dean and Marlon Brando would be getting all of the awards for movies they did decades ago.
In case I am going on a bit of a rant (Which I planned on doing and will do very often no matter how many people it annoys), the bottom line here is that the Oscars aren’t the ones who are racist. It’s the people within it. It’s the structure that they setup to judge movies and pick only what they like. You know what? I am fine with that! I never looked to that award show to tell me what was great for the year. I have my own mind, which I use every now and then to make simple decisions. Would you get mad if there was a “Kraft Lunch and Dinner Awards” show that only showcased Kraft foods while claiming they will give everyone a fair shot? Don’t answer that…. I’m sure someone would still find a problem. That is the point though. This is an award show that was created in the late 1920s, that didn’t even acknowledge the first African-American actor in their awards until 1939 (Hattie McDaniel) and even then only gave it to her because she was very good at playing African-American stereotype. They didn’t give an Asian actor this award until 1951 (Miyoshi Umeki – who also played a Japanese stereotype) and didn’t give it to a Hispanic actor until 1948 (Jose Ferrer – who strangely, had to play a French man) Sounds to me like they will continue these ways as long as they please, and they have a right to do so because it is THEIRS.
This brings me to my next point. Why does the public care so much? I can honestly say that beside people in the 40 years or older crowd, I never hear talk of the Oscars. Sure, I might see some crap about who wore what dress or who won what award on MSN but I’ve never sat down with my buddies and heard “Leonardo Dicaprio won for (insert any great movie he worked on here)” (Haha, see what I did there?) Why? The reason is because this is an old people’s game. Sorry to any older readers that are reading this, but it is true. The younger generations are too busy trying to make ends meet and find a way to get rich quick to focus on some millionaire getting a crappy statue from a bunch of nobodies. I’m not spending my Sunday listening to a bunch of people try to pretend like they don’t want to say that they deserved it and are better than everyone they beat. I gain nothing from the experience other than a little bit of conversation around the break room.
Now, if you have been paying attention to the uselessness, you will have undoubtedly heard about Stacey Dash commenting on how she feels the topic. She thought that African-Americans shouldn’t have so many of their own award shows that segregate them from everyone else. I agree with that to a point. Key words, To-A-Point! I think that if you want your own thing, you should seek whatever validation you need from that thing. The thing to note is that what stops that from hitting the same wall that the Oscars have hit 2 times around? Now she brought the reality under fire, which is there are Black Entertainment Awards that, by design, only recognizes people of color (Primarily African-Americans but you will find a few stragglers). Want to know what the key thing is about this award show too? It is useless!
I say that the BET Awards are useless and not just by itself, but in conjunction with every other award show. We are sitting around waiting for a group of people to say “We loved your work!” when the reality is, it doesn’t matter. If you REALLY wanted to have an award show that showed how appreciated your work actually was, we would have voting systems similar to what we do with presidential elections (Although that is a can of worms for another article). We are telling our presidents that we like their work, as a nation. Sure, they may not get all of the votes but they get enough to know that more people like their work then they did someone else’s. That’s the only true way to run an award show. Everyone has different views, different biases, different prejudices and different tastes in movies. No one group of people should be saying something was the best. Until we figure out how to make that happen, no award show will be fair, for anyone!
Now here is my bottom dollar. I am against the entire thing (If I haven’t made that completely clear throughout this article). I don’t support seeking validation by certain groups because I am no longer in high school. I don’t support forcing an organization to change its ways just because I don’t agree with it because I am free thinking person. I don’t support this movement because I don’t think that it warranted even being created. When you act, you act for your audience. The people who pay money to sit in a cramped, uncomfortable room with a bunch of loud, stinky and random people to see you. The people who buy your movies. The people who praise your work to their friends, family and the world. Focus on them. If they love what you do, be happy with that. Leonardo Dicaprio hasn’t won an Academy Award EVER. All these great movies and not one academy award. If a white man (German-Italian-American, technically) who was born in Hollywood, has been working in Hollywood for almost 3 decades and has made some of the best movies of those 3 decades cannot win one, do you really think that racism is the issue here, or is there something else going on that is really the problem? I’ll let you think about that on your own time.