At the 88th Academy Awards (aka “the Oscars”) on Sunday night, Chris Rock after being so quiet about the #OscarsSoWhite issue, spoke about race head-on with no remorse or care at those he made feel uncomfortable. Many people at home, including myself, applaud him for finally doing something we’ve been waiting for. He addressed the #OscarsSoWhite issues and made it clear to the whole room that Hollywood is racist but that things are changing. He also explained why this suddenly became an issue, “We were too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won best cinematographer,” he said. “When your grandmother’s swinging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about best documentary foreign short.”
It all began when Jada Pinkett-Smith uploaded a video on her Facebook which started the boycott movement. With the caption of the video being, “We must stand in our power,” Jada Pinkett-Smith explains that she will not be watching (or attending) the Academy Awards because of the lack of acknowledgement for black people. “Invoking the Rev. Martin Luther King’s legacy on his birthday, two prominent African-Americans announced Monday that they will boycott this year’s Academy Awards over a lack of diversity among nominees,” wrote Brandon Griggs while he went into further details explaining why the boycott was happening. You can watch Jada Pinkett-Smith’s video below:
Yes, this was honestly a huge moment on TV for us colored folks not only because a black man addressed race issues in front of an almost all white audience but also because this is the first time something like this has happened. Yesha Callahan explained it all in one sentence when she wrote, “The comedian came, he saw the sea of white faces in the audience and he conquered.” In her article she also explained the hits and misses of this years Oscars involving Chris Rock.
There were many different sketches throughout the ceremony but the one that took everyone by storm was when Stacey Dash came onto the stage and congratulated everyone by saying, “Happy Black History Month,” when a couple months ago Dash stated in a very controversy interview how she thinks we should get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards and the Image Awards, where you’re only awarded if you’re black. You can watch the sketch below:
I am glad that issues involving race are being more actively addressed by stars who have bigger platforms and can actually help the black lives matter movement, even stars like Angela Bassett said in a Breakfast Club interview, “When I see more inclusion [in the Academy Awards], that’s when I can get more excited, when I see the work of what life looks like.”
But even if things do change and even if diversity is included more, race is still going to be a visible issue. Recently there was a problem involving Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in which he had to write an internal memo to his employees in which he spoke about people in his staff crossing out “black lives matter” and replacing it with “all lives matter.”
This was written on the company’s “free expression” wall. “We’ve never had rules around what people can write on our walls,” said Zuckerberg in the post. “We expect everybody to treat each other with respect.” Here is his full post:
Ultimately, will things ever change?