Sunday, January 24, 2016

BLACK REPRESENTATION: PROGRESS IN AND OUT OF HOLLYWOOD

POINT 1: OSCARS MATTER

POINT 2:  AMERICAN OSCARS  DO  NOT BELONG TO WHITE PEOPLE


just like

AMERICA DOESN'T
BELONG TO WHITE PEOPLE
CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF


POINT 3: WE CAN'T AFFORD TO LIE DOWN FOR THIS



However, I have a dream.  And I live for that dream. I live for the day when white people are a numerical minority. I live for the day where white people must have a white actors awards ceremony all their own because there is no other way for them to know who is the best white actor, best white film of the year.

That is, I live for the day when "The Oscars" are truly representative of all Americans. 


I live for the day when diverse, multi-ethnic Oscars race peacefully co-exists with Black FUBU actor award shows, Latinx FUBU actor award shows, and White FUBU actor award shows.

I can't wait for white folks to need their own actors awards show. I'm hopping up and down and spinning in a circle on one foot anxious for that mess to happen. The year 2060, 2070 cannot get here fast enough.


In the meantime though? We need to figure out how to get our share of damn pie. Don't get it twisted. That flippin' Oscar matters. And it matters right now. 
Halle Berry 


POWER 
OPPORTUNITY  
Power to Do More Movies AND Black Woman Projects

A Zora Neale Hurston Book
turned into a television mini-Series
She plays the lead "Janie"

Production Company - Harpo Studios (Oprah Winfrey)


Berry got paid peanuts in the first X-men movie. But she got paid big money for the ones that followed the Oscar.
X-Men Franchise

And while she hasn't been in every X-men movie, there's always a chance she's going to be in future ones. The "Storm" character is hers.  Berry even had enough audience-power/us-power to be in an X-men movie where she couldn't really perform required stunts because she was pregnant. She practically did a cameo in that movie -- but they didn't cut her out because they knew we'd raise hell.

That Oscar she won gave her to us and us to her



Morgan Freeman is still around and has played the same 3 or 4 roles using different character names because he was nominated for Oscars until he finally won one.

Denzel Washington is a household name because of his Oscar nominations and finally gets a win for a leading role. 

Taraji P Henson is still around and going strong in "Empire" because she was nominated. Yes, it made me mad she had to go to a T V series instead of parlaying that into a movie career like white folks and a certain percentage of black men, but...that's another story)
 





POWEROPPORTUNITY




You can argue about how good or bad any one of Berry's projects were. The point is that Berry has power and ability to move and choose due to winning that Oscar. She got "Their Eyes Were Watching God" on screen, a decent mini-series based on a Zora Neale Hurstron novel. She brought a black classic to television. 

Jennifer Aniston, who is white, still has a movie career despite her projects being about as weak as some of Halle's  
but without having lucked up into being in a franchise like "The X-Men" Maybe Aniston's a bad example because she's floating on "Friends" fame. But the other "Friends" actors haven't been able to float using "Friends" fame. Then again, they weren't married to Brad Pitt for a hot minute either.



The point is this: Oscar matters to black actors even more than it does to white. 

White people can cruise through a Hollywood career on whiteness. Hollywood, to the tune of 80%, has nothing to do with acting talent. Some people actually are extremely talented. Like Viola said in her acceptance speech, the only thing black women are missing in Hollywood is opportunity. But when you are pale you can luck up and have your genes, your face, and your mannerisms match a role of a good movie so well that you get famous.

Keanu Reeves
in
"The Matrix"
I like Keanu Reeves. Seems like he's a generous person if rumors of his gifts to staff on set are true. But he's like a pale Boris Kodjoe.  Mostly what he's had going for him is looks (plus the magical ability to pick the right script) 


#OscarsSoWhite is a problem. But we need to change what's happening in front of the curtain just as bad as we need to change what's happening behind the curtain.

In front of the curtain, we need more black and brown movie and television projects. We need to ask "WHY?" in a loud voice when a movie like "Lila and Eve" doesn't get wide release (or any advertising at all after Samuel Goldwyn Films aquires it) when it's so well reviewed at the Sundance Film Festival and later on online sites. 


Behind the curtain, we need to remove all or most of the old white guys doing all the voting for the Oscars.  Whoever votes for movies, television, visual art that supposed to representative of all of us should look like all of us. If white people are 67% of the population they shouldn't be any more than 67% voting for the Oscars.

And when white folks numbers drop below 50% in this country the board at the Oscars should drop to the same percentage. Then white people should go ahead and create their own, separate white actors awards. Again, I'm looking forward to that, I'll attend the white actors awards too. I'll be the black woman way down front, not sitting in her seat but standing up, in everybody's way, doing the happy dance. 





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P.S. Back folks aren't the only ones Oscar fails to represent. It's been 54 years since a Latina took home an Oscar too

read more:http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-mn-oscar-diversity-asian-latino-indigenous-nominees-winners-20160120-story.html