The Academy Awards have implemented a new rule. White perfomers, especially women, aren’t allowed to win whenver a black actor is nominated. Ok, that’s not a rule. But that seems to be the discourse that has been around the world for the last few days.
I had my money on Angela Bassett. She’s a great actress. But I also feel that Jamie Lee Curtis is a great actress. I didn’t really like Black Panther: Wakanda Forever but I felt Bassett’s performance as Ramonda, Queen Mother of Wakanda, was the best thing about the movie. Bassett won at the Golden Globes and everyone thought she was a shoo-in at the Oscars. But Curtis won and almost immediately, you knew social media and talk show hosts were going to go nuts about it.
I’ve been watching the Oscars since the late 1980s and I’ve never seen a more diverse selection of winners in my life. Ruth Carter won the sole award of the five Oscar nominations for Black Panther in Best Costume Design. But a win is a win. And the movie has a long list of other awards, accolades and nominations. But apparently, everyone seemed to jump on the idea that Bassett should’ve won solely because she’s black.
But they’re not saying that. They keep tiptoeing around it like someone who says, “Not to sound racist…” and then says something that sounds very racist. They’re saying Curtis shouldn’t have won because she’s a “Nepo-Baby.” Really? Has anyone ever been around other people? Nepotism is everywhere. Unions have embraced nepotism. They just call it apprencticeships. A lot of people get ahead in life based solely on who their parents are or who their family is. And the same applies to peple of all races.
They’re saying Bassett was right not to clap but I didn’t see that. What I did see was that Bassett was upset, which is understandable. But she didn’t leave the ceremony like a certain actor did almost 20 years ago when he didn’t win. You might remember him? He slapped Chris Rock last year and won for a vanity project performance that is just awful.
No, Bassett stayed and she sat through the rest of the ceremony and was caught smiling and laughing as well as applauding at other times. People are trying to bring something to the ceremony that wasn’t there. Ironically, no one is saying anything against Brian Tyree Henry not winning. Could it be that Ke Huy Quan, of Vietnamese/Chinese ancestry, won? I actually thought Judd Hirsch might have upset it.
I don’t think people fully understand what happens. The Academy selects a lot of nominees and takes those with the top five rankings as the nominees. Then, they vote on the remaining five again. So, quite possibly, more people might think one actor on a second or third viewing gave a better performance. If you’re going to compete, you have to take the losses with the wins.
I want to clarrify a word that’s been used. Bassett wasn’t “snubbed.” Snubbed doesn’t mean she didn’t win if she was nominated. It would’ve been a snub if she hadn’t been nominated. Snub is when a group of so-called friends don’t send you an invite but then you see them hanging out somewhere when they could’ve invited you. A snub is when you ask out someone and they lie to you on why they don’t want to go out but you see them out anyway.
I’ve been snubbed a lot before in my life. Maybe you have too. Yet, I’ve also competed in several events over the years. And you have too probably. You don’t win. You suck it up! You say “We’ll get them next time.” And that’s that!
And by the way people are acting, they’re disrespecting both Curtis and Bassett. You’re belittling the win for Curtis saying it doesn’t mean anything because Bassett deserve it because she won in another contest with a different selection of voters. People do this all the time. They’re jealous or selfish of any achievement, accomplishment, award, job promotion or reward you received without their help or contribution doesn’t mean much. This is why people love Donald Trump so much. He’s able to make everything about himself. And by tying the Oscar to the history of the Civil Rights Movement is kinda bonkers.
Even worse, these naysayers are sounding just like the crazy conservative pundits on Fox News, Newsmax and OAN. They have to have something wrong with everything they can’t control or that doesn’t benefit them directly. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I covered a sporting event and someone got mad because the other team “cheated” or the officials “made crooked calls.” I couldn’t even cover Easter egg hunts or Halloween child costume contests without some type of negative feedback. It’s the only thing they live for anymore. They can’t be happy about someone else having one great moment of happiness, excitement and elation.
People go through so much in their lives regardless of who their parents are and what opportunities they had or didn’t have. Curtis herself said after doing Halloween II in 1981, she realized that she couldn’t do another horror movie or else she wouldn’t receive many other movie offers. She made some good movies like A Fish Called Wanda which introduced me to the Monty Pythons and she made some bad movies such as Perfect which was anything but.
And Bassett and Quan have has both had their ups and downs. Why isn’t Hollywood casting them in more roles? The complaints are going to the wrong people. Bassett at 64 looks just as good as she did 30 years ago playing Tina Turner. Hollywood needs to give all black and Asian actors better roles. It can be done. There’s a market out there.
Years ago, people were upset over Sir Anthony Hopkins winning for The Father when they thought Chadwick Boseman, who died the previous year, should’ve won for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. But I felt Boseman should’ve been nominated in the Best Supporting category as Viola Davis’ character was more of the lead. And Hopkins did a great role in The Father so it’s a hard choice.
Incidentally, I thought Boseman’s co-star, Delroy Lindo, gave an Oscar worthy performance in Da 5 Bloods that was overlooked. And Danielle Deadwyler was overlooked as Mamie Till. These are snubs. But I also felt Mia Goth should’ve been nominated for Pearl and Aubrey Plaza should’ve been nominated for Emily the Criminal.
However, I felt Davis, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Fences should’ve been nominated for the Lead Actress category in that movie. Emma Stone was nominated and won for La La Land in that category. Who knows how Oscar voters think? But there has been a call to make the voters have more diversity and that’s happen.
Yet, I think it’s also creating the backlash that filmmaker Paul Schrader is calling the Oscars “woke,” that nice four-letter world Boomers, conservatives and white people use to denounce anything they don’t agree with. Times change. During the 1990s when the independent movies were everywhere to be found, most of the Best Picture nominees and winners were big-budget period piece movies because most of the voters felt those were Oscar-worthy movies.
Now, more than 25 years later, voters are considering other movies. Speaking of Trump, when Parasite won Best Picture, he made a comment that he liked Gone With the Wind. And most older people raised to think these were the only Oscar-worthy movies aren’t going to think differenly in their older age. I’m sure 50 years ago, people felt movies like The Godfather and Midnight Cowboy, now considered classics, were nothing more than filthy movies with their foul language, violence and sexual content. The latter was originally rated X before it was re-rated R.
And these are the movies that Schrader holds up to the “standard” of movies the Oscars should recognize. I don’t know where this “wokeness” is coming from because Schrader has often pushed the envelope in his scripts and movies. He’s also been a great admirer of foreign filmmakers who were also edgy. Did Roseanne Barr hack his social media?
Seriously, if people put as this much attention to other recent events such as the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, the events that still harm the East Palestine, Ohio area, and how legislators in many states are targeting the LGBTQIA community, repealing child labor laws and bilking public education of its money, we can really make some much needed changes.
What do you think? Please comment.