Someone asked me today if I was going to boycott the 2016 Oscars. Who am I to boycott the Oscars? I’m not an actress. I don’t in any way benefit from its existence nor would I from its demise. But if I had to contemplate who I think should, specifically when it comes to fair representation, I would say it should definitely not be just one group of people.
What about Native Americans? Cher and Johnny Depp might qualify but when have they taken part in more than one qualifying role? I do remember there was a bit of an uproar when Depp gave it a shot. Why can’t he represent every drop of his blood’s heritage without being shot down by those who share that same blood heritage? Why does it matter how big his drop is compared to yours? He acknowledged his one drop and stepped into a role that is usually given to Caucasians or Hispanics, who may or may not have any intention of ever claiming a drop of that blood heritage. We have to let people celebrate every aspect of their history without being attacked.
What about Asians? No Asians this year. It’s a little harder to filter those roles to… Oh right. I almost forgot about David Carradine as grasshopper in Kung Fu. There should be more representation than crouching tigers. Little people? Peter Dinklage isn’t the only little person who deserves recognition and he does definitely deserve acclaim. In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, one guy was digitally cloned to play the whole cast of Oompa Loompas. And isn’t there a current release where little people were replaced by technology again? In a recent production, they were merely given stand in roles to validate camera angles on the non-qualifying actors who were actually chosen to play these little people. Should they boycott? Will that bring about change? I don’t know. But I think it’s way deeper than a boycott can fix.
All of Hollywood would need to change. For that matter, all forms of segregation would need to be eliminated. That would include the boycott of separation of black and white, rich and poor, straight and gay, Christian and non-Christian. We are just people. When is THAT going to be the final consensus?
I Know Who Should Boycott the Oscars
But you know who I think really SHOULD boycott the Oscars? Leonardo DiCaprio should boycott the Oscars. Because even if he does win this year, and he should, if they don’t wheelbarrow out one Oscar for each exceptional performance he has given since “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”, or have a special one of a kind, never to be reissued Oscar made of pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, green clovers and blue friggin diamonds, then they need to just cancel that bull$!#@ show. It’s obviously nothing short of a glorified popularity contest, as opposed to a platform for an award of merit and artistic proficiency.
This is not to discredit any of the other nominees. But with every character he has played, he made you believed he was that person on and off screen. Which in many cases can be a little scary. But he is believable in every role he plays. That is the true art of acting. If you randomly killed a bunch of people in a movie and I believe that if I ever met you, I would be afraid to be left alone in a room with you, then you played that role well. If I can tell you are acting, and your performance, or lack thereof, throws me out of sync with what’s going on in the film, at most, you deserve a cracker. If the distraction is brief and the movie overall is Oscar worthy, you might get a Ritz. But that’s the most I can offer. Leo doesn’t ever appear to strive for mediocre when it comes to his choice of performance vehicle, nor does he drive it like Miss Daisy. So if this is a platform for performance accolades, and he has never been honored with anything more than a nod, then he needs to say hell no, I won’t go. And commit to watching the show in his boxers (or briefs… he’s not Prince so I don’t know for sure).
Who Are These Academy Members?
But on a serious note, it’s not the show that needs to change, it’s the decision makers. Academy membership is by invitation. Who is doing the inviting and on what are they basing their decision? It’s not about the show itself. The show is a well needed platform for the recognition of creative prowess. To be recognized by the academy of members charged with issuing accolades in your field of study is supposed to be an honor. There is no honor where bias exists–There is only chaos. The failure to recognize the skills and accomplishments of all those involved, without prejudice, as opposed to making politically motivated choices to keep up appearances, is the catalyst to the death of art for the sake of art. It then becomes art for the sake of commerce or art for the sake of popularity. Those two concepts are the antithesis of what artistic expression should really represent.
Something needs to change, not the platform, but the polluted minds charged with upholding the integrity of it. And we don’t want forced nominations. They need to be issued because of merit, not guilt.
I even heard that someone said that the overlooked African American actors should ‘Act Better’. Holy mother of pearl! It’s not about acting better. Better than what? That doesn’t even make sense. All artistic judgment is based on opinion. It’s an unfortunate statement. I think what is being presented for evaluation is just not being acknowledged as being worthy. Although what is considered worthy by the academy is also based on the opinion of its members… comprised of what manner of judgmental bodies? And of these members, what are their true merits? Are they all recipients of this prestigious award? Is that where their qualifications lie? I doubt that the majority are.
Since When Does Ratchet Rule?
Honestly, there just isn’t enough diversity in film. The typical roles African-Americans are cast in are getting very stagnant. The movies where African-Americans are prominent cast members have to change as well. Although I would really like to see us making more movies that are not about violence, gangsters, harlots, crooks and comic relief, I’m constantly given the impression that black people won’t support them and white people won’t feel guilty enough to care. I hope that’s not true. We could make a movie like “Room”. It had nothing to do with race. But will it be acknowledged? Will it be supported on all sides? I wonder, and that I have to wonder is a testament to this deplorable situation.
I seem to see more support for violence, buffoonery and ratchet behavior. Is ratchet behavior that much more important than positive influential substance? That’s how I felt when I turned on the TV and found out that while “Cosmos” had been canceled, violence and ratchet behavior remained in rotation on every other channel. And it wasn’t race specific either.
Drop Your Weapons
In my opinion, what we really should be focusing on is reducing gun violence. We have all these people in a 1st Amendment uproar, crying that they need their guns to protect themselves. From what? Their rowdy neighbors? The ones screaming the loudest don’t live in rowdy neighborhoods, so what do they really need those guns for?
The way I see it, guns are being used by some black people to illegally kill other black people over some ignorant inability to think for themselves because there’s an overwhelming need to be down with this other guy’s idea of how to run these streets. Or an even deeper inability to express love over blind hate. Or by some cops to occasionally legally kill black people who create conflict. All other conflict makers just get arrested… or not. And by some white people to just randomly shoot whatever possibly needs to be shot. Bears, rattlesnakes, trucks, beer and sometimes little school kids.
Is this our reality? Should it be our reality? Something like this should be a completely false statement and should never even raise question. But it does raise questions. Very scary questions. Extremely alarming loathsome questions.
Lack of Diversity is About Segregation
It is not about a race war.
None of this negativity and regretful behavior is caused by the existence of different races.
This is about an ignorance war.
Ignorant people doing ignorant things in ignorant ways, creating a trickle down effect of blatant ignorance.
Ignorant people showing their ignorant side, causing others to dredge up their ignorant side.
Just pure ignorance raining down on this entire planet.
If we don’t figure out a way to make all of this stop, we’re going to drown in a pool of black, white, red, brown, yellow and green ignorance.
Forget boycotting the Oscars, let’s boycott ignorance.