Jada Pinka and Spike Lee are calling on their fellow-black friends to boycott the Academy Awards because there were no black nominees. It’s not that blacks have not not been nominated in the past. Here’s a list from Wikipedia. Most people would be surprised at the number of black actors and actresses nominated and blacks who have won an Academy Award.
- “Denzel Washington has the most nominations for an African-American Actor: Best Actor (4 nominations) and Best Supporting Actor (2 nominations).”
- Will Smith was nominated in 2001 for Ali and 2006 for Pursuit of Happyness.
- Jamie Foxx was the First African-American actor to receive two acting nominations in the same year. He won Best Actor for Ray and for Best Supporting Actor for Collateral, a film that Jada Pinkett Smith, wife of Will Smith, starred in.
- In 2002, the best actress was Halle Berry and best actor Denzel Washington.
Were there some worthy Oscar performances in 2015? I thought Chiwetel Ejiofor did a fantastic job in The Martian. I haven’t seen Creed ((Baz Bamigboye: “Some critics have said that Michael B. Jordan’s turn as boxer Adonis Johnson in Creed should also have been nominated. I don’t disagree and think, perhaps, the film’s black director and writer Ryan Coogler should have been considered, too. Instead, a white actor — Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balbao, the sentimental favourite — will represent the movie at the Oscar ceremony on February 28 as best supporting actor nominee.)) or Straight Outta of Compton. ((Baz Bamigboye: “There are some good scenes, but it falls apart after 40 minutes and, frankly, for a few moments I thought I was watching a commercial for Dr Dre’s branded headphones. The film let itself down.”))
I did not see Will Smith’s performance in Concussion. Baz Bamigboye, who is black, writes in his “Stop Whining” article in the Daily Mail, “Concussion is an amiable picture and Smith’s performance is OK-ish — but it’s definitely not Oscar-worthy. His attempt at a Nigerian accent is woeful. I’d rather listen to Lenny Henry’s Katanga any day.”
Bamigboye notes that “it is worth recalling that the 2014 Oscars were a banner year for black talent, with 12 Years A Slave winning best picture, best supporting actress for Lupita Nyong’o and best adapted screenplay. Two years before, Octavia Spencer won for The Help and Viola Davis (The Help) was in a titanic battle for the best actress crown with Meryl Streep, who pipped her for her role as Mrs Thatcher in the Iron Lady, but Davis’s career took off like a rocket.”
Actually, I haven’t watched the Academy Awards for decades. It’s been that long since I’ve become disenchanted with the rubbish that comes out of Hollywood and the hypocrisy of so many leftist Hollywood actors and actresses. I’m upset that two nominations were given to the transgender flick Carol. So much of Hollywood is agenda-driven.
Liberals talk about how bad it is to objectify women, and yet films are filled with objectified women. Liberal Hollywood types support more gun control but have their own armed security and perform in films with hordes of gun violence scenes.
Demographics might have something to do with the interest level among black movie goers: “According to a 2014 study (PDF), 25% of frequent moviegoers were Hispanic, 10% were African-American.” (H/T: CNN) If any group should be ticked off it’s the Hispanics.
The Academy itself is mostly white males. I don’t know what the Academy makeup was when Berry and Washington won. Will there now be Affirmative Action nominees? Will the Academy be pressured to nominate blacks because of fear of boycotts?
This fight is a Hollywood problem, but it’s typical of how things are done in the United States: Identity first, public pressure second, talent third, and character fourth or at all.
Life’s not fair. We live in a right-handed world. When is the last time you saw a left-handed catcher in baseball? (I’ve only seen one.) Try to find a left-handed catcher’s mitt.
Scissors are made for righties. Left-handed baseball players rarely if ever play third or second base or shortstop. And yet left-handed pitchers are sought after.
The world is also made for tall people. A child’s first trip to an amusement park is often met with sadness because he or she is not tall enough to ride some of the more exhilarating attractions.
Growing up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, there was a large swimming pool facility. The lifeguards were always telling short kids to stay out of the deep end. The only way you could get in was prove you could swim the length of the pool. Tall kids didn’t have to do it. Rank discrimination!
When I was in school, we always had to line up shortest to tallest. I think about how my life would be different if I had been 5’ 6” like my father rather than 6’ 1”. Being short is a plus for gymnasts and jockeys.
Try playing basketball today if you’re 6 feet tall. You might make the high school team, but the pros are likely not to take you unless you’re as good as Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues (5’ 3”) or Anthony “Spud” Webb – 5’7″.
Blacks dominate the sprints and jumping events in track and field. Big guys, black and white, dominate the throwing events. The high school record holder in the shot put is black and very big. His record may never be broken.
The NBA is dominated by tall black men. “According to racial equality activist Richard Lapchick, the NBA in 2011 was composed of 83 percent non-white players, including 78 percent black, four percent Latino, and one percent Asian; 17 percent of the players were white. The league had the highest percentage of black players of any major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada.” It’s about the same for the NFL.
Try being a model if you don’t have “the look.”
You’re probably not going to make it in the music business if you don’t look good. There are exceptions, however. In the end, talent is the key, but it’s not always enough for some markets. Remember this from Simon Cowell and ‘Britain’s Got Talent’?
“Simon Cowell sneered and the huge audience at the ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ show made the sort of faces associated with a bad smell. The object of their disaffection was contestant No. 43212, a plain, middle-aged woman from Scotland with bushy eyebrows and a dress and hairdo that might have been stylish when Dwight Eisenhower was president.
“The woman, who seemed somewhat unnerved by the bright lights and the big crowd in the concert hall where the show was recorded, said she was Susan Boyle. She said she was 47 years old, unemployed, and lived alone with her cat, Pebbles. She had never gone on a date and had never been kissed, she added in a thick brogue.”
It was her abilities that wowed the judges and the audience. If you haven’t seen and heard this, then you’re in for a treat.