Os­cars are not white; Os­cars are gold

It’s time to see colour

The McGill Daily - - Compendium! -

Race is a con­tentious is­sue in Amer­i­can en­ter­tain­ment, as real­ity TV star Don­nie Drumpf re­cently showed by mak­ing America a live, 24-hour Sur­vivor se­quel star­ring marginal­ized peo­ple. Should race dom­i­nate the up­com­ing Os­cars dis­course, though, or are there more im­por­tant Hol­ly­weed is­sues to talk about? Like the fact that some ig­no­ra­mus has changed the Hol­ly­weed sign to read “Hollywood” for over a month now, per­haps? Or, as I, and sev­eral Hol­ly­weed no­ta­bles ar­gue, the star­tling fact that the Os­cars were never white – they were al­ways gold.

2017 Os­car nom­i­nee Emma Peb­ble, an ad­vo­cate for dis­miss­ing the race dis­course ( she’s to­tally Asian, so she’s got cred), was re­cently quoted as say­ing, “you know, I’ve been to a lot of these cer­e­monies, de­spite there be­ing other ac­tresses a lot more qual­i­fied, and, some would ar­gue, more Asian than me. I can say with cer­tainty though that those stat­ues have al­ways been gold.”

In the course of the same in­ter­view, Emma Peb­ble bid “Aloha” to an­other to­tally Asian ac­tor, Matt De­mon, star of the up­com­ing Chi­nese doc­u­men­tary pic­ture, The Great Wall. De­mon, who was not nom­i­nated for an Os­car, later ad­mit­ted that, “maybe if I could play a black wo­man, I’d have re­ceived a nom­i­na­tion this year – not a win, of course, but a nom­i­na­tion. Be­ing born as the race that I am, it’s lim­it­ing. ”

In­deed, as De­mon said, the Acad­emy nom­i­nated a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of Black films, ac­tors, and film­mak­ers this year, in an ef­fort to en­able all its white mem­bers to say with cer­tainty that they have a Black friend. Wil­liam Smith may even re­turn to the cer­e­mony, al­low­ing white peo­ple to rap the Fresh Prince theme song again, as op­posed to ac­cus­ing Smith of ob­scu­rity. Some films, how­ever, may be too much for the pop­u­lace – Moon­light con­tains not just queer Black men, but queer Black men who are not slaves. No ac­tors of colour could be reached for com­ment about this topic, how­ever, nor would any deign to side­step racial is­sues in favour of chat­ting about the colour of the stat­uettes.

The race prob­lem, then, is solved – Black voices can be thor­oughly re­layed by white peo­ple speak­ing for them in ap­pro­pri­ated Black slang. But who will speak for the gold Os­cars? I nom­i­nate Peril Streep, whose Lib­eral Status™ was re­newed this year by her earth- shat­ter­ing de­nun­ci­a­tion of Don­nie Drumpf – mar­gin- al­ized ac­tors had only been do­ing that for years be­fore her, but ask your­self this: who is more marginal­ized than a white wo­man?

Ma­rina Djur­d­je­vic | The Mcgill Daily

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