Whitest Oscars?

The Oscar Nominations are out and so are the complainers. I have read numerous articles saying that this years list of nominees (in the major acting categories) is “the whitest group” in the past ten years. Give me a fucking break.

That’s right. I think this is stupid, and maybe after I explain myself you’ll agree with me.

So, last year there were a bunch of minorities nominated for a bunch of different things. They even let a movie that was directed by a woman (!) win for best picture. Heck, she even became the first female to win Best Director. It should be noted that the movie in question was not a “female themed” movie. “The Hurt Locker” was a drama about military folks and war and bombs and stuff. Not your typical “chick flick”.

I bring this up because a lot of people are complaining that more minorities should be nominated, but no one seems to be saying that more minorities should just be in better movies. One complaint is that there need to be more movies with “African-American” themes, and then we would have more black Oscar contenders. I don’t agree with this logic. Anyone who has seen even ONE Tyler Perry movie can tell you that not all Afro-American themed films are equal. Halle Berry was in a film called “Frankie and Alice” this year, and people thought she should be given a nod. But, sorry to tell you, she wasn’t THAT good. And either was that movie. It had all been done before – and better. I know I am going to get crap for this, but she didn’t deserve the Oscar she actually won.

Here is the problem. You have some very talented actors in Hollywood who wield a great deal of power. Oprah. Halle. Denzel. Javier Bardem. Will Smith. (The list goes on and on) But what projects are they taking on that would lead them down the Red Carpet? If my goal was to get a nomination you bet your ass I wouldn’t have made a movie like “The Wolfman”, or spent my money making unnecessary remakes of 80’s classics staring my offspring. (Are you listening Will Smith? No one wanted to see the lame remake of the Karate Kid. And you can bet you bottom dollar that no one will want to see your daughter butcher Annie.) Denzel Washington – and you can read my thoughts on him HERE – made not one, but two craptastic films last year. Are we supposed to reward him for that? And worse yet, are we supposed to reward him the fact that he is black?

Sure, there are a lot of white actors nominated this year and I bet they all feel really bad about the fact that they are white right about now. Is this the whitest Oscar race in ten years? Sure, I guess so. If you are looking for it to be. But maybe it is just another reason to complain. You want better movies with minorities in leading roles? MAKE THEM. Stop making total schlock like “Our Family Wedding”. Stop remaking already good movies like “Death at a Funeral” – for a “black audience”. Maybe we just need to let Pedro Almodovar direct every movie from now on. Because his movies are awesome, filled with all sorts of minorities (and gays! and women!)  who are not regulated to the sidelines or part of some weird sub culture. They are main characters with histories and regular lives to lead. And that is something any person can relate to.

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2 thoughts on “Whitest Oscars?

  1. The dearth of quality movies is not limited to black-themed pictures solely. (For every Tyler Perry movie, I raise you 2-4 films from Adam Sandler, the Judd Apatow fraternity, Jerry Brockheimer et al….) It’s an industry-wide dilemma that when looked at statistically ends up having a particularly unequal impact on minority actors and actresses. The white-out is the fault of all in Hollywood–writers, producers, directors and talent.

    “I bring this up because a lot of people are complaining that more minorities should be nominated, but no one seems to be saying that more minorities should just be in better movies.”

    I gotta strongly disagree on the words “no one”. Minority (Asian, Black, Latino) movie goers, critics, insiders et al can be and are just as discerning about quality. I doubt that any truly serious/critical discussion in minority circles about this white-out asks that a minority actor or actress be nominated “just because”. I worked in entertainment for a few years and trust me, people want to get good-great films made. If it were that easy this topic would be moot.

    When I saw this controversy rear its head last week, to me it seemed like a shoddy attempt to create news. The real challenge to Hollywood is to give the sequels, prequels, spinoffs and remakes a break, and concentrate on making and supporting original, good movies. If not, don’t be surprised that Denzel et al are not working so hard for the money. 😉

    • No one said it was limited to “black themed” movies. There are tons of movies staring white people that suck as well, it just seems that no one expects an Oscar nod for those.
      At this time EVERY YEAR this subject gets brought up. And calling it a “white out” doesn’t help matters. I am from LA and have worked “in the industry” myself – and thats part of the reason I no longer live in LA. I hated it. and all the fake crap people said and did to get what they wanted – attention. Saying that people don’t want a nomination “just because”…? Really? I think they do. I didn’t see Marisa Tomei giving back HER Oscar when people said she didn’t deserve it. When race is brought up – nothing gets solved. We need to just focus on making better films and not paying for the crap. Black, white latino… doesn’t matter. Just make better movies and stop complaining when you are not recognized for the lees than good products you put out there. Again… more Almodovar!

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