The Oscars: The Other Side of the Coin.
(ThyBlackMan.com) A great many African Americans are up in arms over the 2016 Oscars whereby it appears there are no African American nominees for the award. The complaint has been led by Jada Pinkett Smith and it has caused many people to wonder if she is just upset because Will Smith was not nominated for his role in the movie Concussion. Clearly we have very talented actors in the African American community such as Morgan Freeman, Forest Whittaker, Angela Bassett, Lawrence Fishbourne and many others. But is there another side to this controversy that African Americans are refusing to see? This is what we are going to explore in this article, like it or not. As an objective and balanced author, I feel it more productive to look at all sides than to simply take sides. Sometimes race is a factor but not the only factorr.
First let’s take a look at Will and Jada Pinkett Smith. Clearly Jada has not acted in any role that would cause her to receive a nomination. And while Will likely has (not After Earth), we have to ask if his performance in Concussion honestly deserved an Academy Award or even a nomination. No, it did not and for many of us who have been to Africa, we know he did not play a convincing Nigerian. Furthermore, there is the subject matter of the movie itself and that might in fact be the reason Smith was NOT nominated. Many people know that a nomination and award would draw too much attention to the issue of concussions and predictable injuries in football, injuries they have known about all along, injuries that cause paralyses, death and brain damage, liabilities and lawsuits. Teams could potentially lose players and billions so why would the academy allow injuries to come to the surface through the big screen? Concussion was reportedly based on an expose done in 2009 by GQ and because most of us do not even remember the expose, we can see how much mileage it got.
You might also find it odd that while Jada Pinkett Smith is screaming bloody racism, her husband’s production company reportedly has at least 80% of its writers who are NOT African American. Will Smith is a good actor and he has acted his way to the top. But let us also not forget how the industry emasculated him before he got there. He had to play homosexual roles, kiss men and wear dresses (Wild Wild West). And for a dollar, he was willing to do every bit of it. Wow, what people do for money!
Nobody of ANY color in the movie Concussion was nominated for anything, no directors, no writers, no producers, no actors. And since people of all colors have gone to see Will Smith’s many movies, he is not likely a poor and helpless victim of racism.
Will Smith threw his children into the cauldron of Hollywood sacrifice. His son wore dresses and bows in his hair and faced being kissed in the mouth by Will again and again. His daughter accepted commercials with adult Caucasian males that were provocative and bordering on illegal, to say the least. The Smith family has paid a dear price for fame, a price that will leave his children confused and slaves to Hollywood. Will and Jada should be ashamed of themselves and they clearly are no role models. Do the research for yourself.
Here are complete lists of Oscar nominations:
What about the Academy Award selections? Clearly there appears to be bias and prejudice, but is it all about racism? Or can part of it be that some of our greatest African American actors are starring in the types of movies that simply do NOT win Oscars? Clearly “black” movies are not likely to win or even be nominated. That knocks out Vivica Fox movies, Lisa Rae, Empire, all of Tyler Perry’s movies and a host of others. Ironically, when the biggest “black” actors like Halle Berry and Denzel Washington do win, it is for sickening, stereotypical roles that degrade African Americans like Monster’s Ball and Training Day.
So there are many angles to this issue and it is not as simple as pulling out the race card, though that car may in fact fit in somewhere. The latest Star Wars has been called the highest grossing picture ever but it is not nominated for an Oscar for best . None of the actors were nominated for anything and Star Wars nominations were for music, film editing, sound editing and visual effects – mostly all things done using computers. Clearly this shows there is more than racism at play.
The movie Straight Outta Compton was nominated for an Oscar in writing. Clearly the acting is not the type of acting the academy selects, no matter what color you are. If the actors in this movie were Caucasian or Asian or Indian or Hispanic, they would likely not have been nominated either.
So then what do African American actors do or where do we go from here? Do we go after and accept the scripts for the type movies the academy favors? Or do we take the scripts that bring thee checck but not the awards? Do we simply accept the awards from our own people? Or is it a personal gratification in knowing you did your best and that you did not compromise your principles, values, morals and identity? African American actors have to be careful not to get type casted or only seen as being marketable in certain types of movies. This happened to Vivica Fox, Terrence Howard, Stacey Dash, Chris Brown and Lisa Raye. And it almost happened to Morris Chestnut.
So as we take a look at the Oscars and before we make it only about race, let’s think hard on all the facts. Many things have a racial element, but not everything is all about racism. Dig deeper, think harder and do you research.
Staff Writer; Marque-Anthony