Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Jada Pinkett Smith and others are calling on blacks, using the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag, to boycott the Oscars and perhaps break from mainstream entertainment. Their beef is that black actors and actresses are being overlooked for Academy Award nominations. I was asked for my take on this.
My response is rather simple. I do not know the inner workings of the Academy or Hollywood. I am not entrenched in what those who are complaining may be entrenched in. I am not even a movie buff. That being said, I believe that Dr. King's dream was that no one would be judged by color. We should all be judged by the merits of our characters--and our abilities. People should not be given a nomination just to fill a quota. If the Academy is playing dirty, then by all means, call them out. However, if folks just want a nod because they feel entitled or are playing the victim, that's not cool.
When I score big, I want to score big because I earned it, not because I complained and made others feel guilty that they didn't pick me or someone who looks like me. I am confident enough in my abilities to believe that they can stand up to anyone else's abilities--be they black, white, male, or female. Judge me on that.
If next year, a dozen, five, one black actor receives a nomination, will the thought be, "They got that because they complained"? Will the nod be given because pressure was applied? That's not cool, either. We know there are many talented black actors and actresses; they do not deserve to have an asterisk hanging over their Academy Award. As for me, I want to be applauded because I deserve it--without threats of boycotts and bashing.
Janet Hubert, who played Aunt Viv on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, blasted Will and Jada in a video on YouTube. It does include some profanity, so be advised: