Thursday, January 21, 2016

Oh, do stop whining about the Oscars being too white! As Hollywood snubs black actors, our star columnist BAZ BAMIGBOYE says: Sorry, most aren't good enough this year

An opinion writer for the Daily Mail that Black actors this year weren’t good enough to warrant nominations.
  I would add the films in general that were nominated are also subpar.  What’s being produced in Hollywood sucks!

When Sidney Poitier became the first black actor to win an Oscar for best leading man in 1963, much of America was scandalized as the actress Anne Bancroft presented him with the award and gave him a congratulatory kiss on the cheek.

To many, such inter-racial contact was taboo.

Today, when so many of the most successful people in showbiz — and in all other walks of life — are of ethnic origin, such a reaction seems grotesque.

But it must be seen in the historical context. Ever since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had first begun its annual ceremony to honor the acting world in 1929, no other black man or woman had been similarly feted.

Indeed, at that time in America, in the Sixties, racial harmony was a very long way from being established and the decade witnessed 750 inner-city race riots in which 228 people were killed, 12,700 injured and many black urban neighborhoods destroyed.

For his part, Poitier, who won his Oscar in the film Lilies Of The Field (in which he played a construction worker who a group of nuns believe was sent to them by God to build their church), was typically modest about his landmark achievement.

With much understatement, he said: ‘It has been a long journey to this moment.’
But it now seems that ‘long journey’ is far from complete.

Ever since Poitier’s triumph, only four black actors (Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx, Forest Whitaker and Halle Berry) have won in the best actor or actress category. That’s five black actors in 87 years of Oscars history (although ten other actors of color have won for best supporting roles).

And now that has been compounded by the failure of a single minority performer to figure in the 20 acting nominations for the 88th ceremony next month.

This has led the president of Hollywood’s Academy Awards, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, to say she’s ‘heartbroken and frustrated’ about the lack of inclusion. She also promised that the Academy will review its membership recruitment process ‘to bring about much-needed diversity’ in future nominations. I feel foolish in having to even point out that Ms Boone Isaacs is black.

Director Spike Lee has gone further than Ms Boone Isaacs, saying he will boycott what he describes as the ‘lily white’ awards.

I share some of their angst, but I don’t feel heartbroken about this year’s nominations. The simple fact is that the Oscars must celebrate and honor the best. And, I’m afraid, in my view, the movies this year with black actors and black film-makers aren’t of that high quality.

More here

The Academy is not gonna nominate Beauty Shop or another Black movie about a wedding.