Jada Pinkett Smith refused to attend last year’s Oscars for lack of black actor nominations. Most notably her husband for his role in Concussion. The fact that she wasn’t invited to the Oscars in the first place became an irrelevant factoid of her anecdotal and selective outrage.
This year’s Oscars has set a historical record for black actor and actress nominations, by sheer force of random happenstance. Pinkett will be attending. Even more so, she’s found herself moved by the sudden recognition of African-American talent in motion pictures. She called it “beautiful” multiple times and used to word diversity to pretend it was a broader issue.
“Because of the state that our country is in, as artists it’s so important we use our platform to help shine light on how we want to be identified as a country. I look at this as a beautiful step towards that. Just our participation as artists in this time of how we want to represent our country, what is the messaging we want the world to see. As artists we have strong voices. We create strong imagery in regards to the identity of our country. It’s important that we take responsibility for that.”
I lasted longer through After Earth than I did that self-serving quote. I count on my plumber more than actors and appreciate the fact he only smokes and grunts. A simple, “we demand six big category nods or Spike and me walk” would have been more pithy.
The problem with beautiful affirmative action is all the non-beautiful byproducts. Like wondering if awards are being given out on pure merit, or pure appeasement. The blatant social and tribal politics used to be relegate to the token awards given out in the middle of the broadcast when you were making a sandwich or taking your dog out to shit.
Rogue One was the most commercially popular film in the world, followed by Captain America. They won’t receive shit. Nor will Deadpool which was ten times more entertaining to ten times more people than every single film up for the big awards. This has never been about celebrating movies, the Oscars have always been about Hollywood celebrating itself, in the way it wishes the world saw it.
That means celebrating films nobody actually sees outside of New York and Los Angeles. Literally, the films don’t even play in theaters outside those and a couple other coastal big cities. It’s a private club that receives a ton of coverage. Reparations is their choice. Trust in the fact the big money guys will be making Deadpool 2 and Deadpool 3, while Moonlight or whichever film wins the top nod will be on whatever the modern version of the bottom shelf at Blockbuster used to be. Green still remains the most important color. By far.
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