Tags: Hollywood | Emmy | Awards | Spike Lee | Oscars | Will Smith

No Award For Boycotting Oscars

Wednesday, 20 January 2016 01:45 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Sometimes life imitates art so perfectly that even Hollywood couldn’t script it.

Now is such a time. And how ironic.

Hollywood, long perceived as a bastion of unwavering liberalism, is being accused of playing the race card, employing discrimination in how Academy Awards nominees were selected, or, more accurately, not selected.

Of the 20 actors nominated for an Oscar, none are black, for the second consecutive year.

Now, Director Spike Lee (whose movie wasn’t nominated) and actress Jada Pinkett Smith (whose husband Will Smith wasn’t nominated) are boycotting the award show and asking others, especially the black acting community, to do likewise.

But Lee and Smith are shooting from the hip more than John Wayne, ignoring the concept of presumed innocence and insinuating that the men in black simply have the wrong creed to win an Oscar.

Their arguments are so mind-numbingly off-base they could cause a concussion.

Let’s take a look at Tinseltown’s controversy: Did the Academy deliberately snub black actors two years in a row because of skin color?

Don’t know. Maybe they did, and maybe they didn’t. But that’s the whole point.

Labeling one of Hollywood’s preeminent institutions racist, and by extension calling its members bigots, are mighty powerful charges to be leveled without a shred of evidence beyond the “sight” test.

As such, it should be incumbent upon those making such accusations to back up what they allege.

No leaked internal documents showing racism, no secret recordings of backroom deals to keep blacks out, no smoking gun. Just their opinions.

Instead, their message, especially to our youth, is that it’s OK to accuse, despite lack of facts. (Of course, it’s a whole lot easier to do such things when you’re wealthy and powerful, and there are no consequences.)

Smith and Lee’s actions are highly irresponsible, since they reinforce the do-and-say-whatever-makes-you-feel-good entitlement attitude sweeping America.

So much for being good role models.

If there is such strong institutional racism within the Academy, how to explain the numerous black actors who have been nominated for past Oscars? That includes Will Smith. Twice. And Spike Lee. Twice, as well as being the recipient of an Honorary Oscar last year.

The same Oscars, incidentally, which are being hosted by a black comedian (Chris Rock) and overseen by a black producer (Reginald Hudlin).

These pesky facts have conveniently been forgotten by Smith and Lee.

And how to explain, for the second consecutive year, a record number of black nominees and winners, especially black women, for the Emmy awards? It was a 64 percent gain from the previous year, which itself had been a record.

And incidentally, no one cried racism when that occurred.

The Golden Globes have had no shortage of black nominees and winners, nor do the Black Reel Awards, the Black Film Awards, the American Black Film Festival, and Black Entertainment Television.

So, despite black actors being nominated by the Academy for years, it’s acceptable to cry “racism” because your film, your husband, and other black actors didn’t happen to make the cut this time?

So why were no black actors nominated? Who knows? Maybe their performances weren’t that good. Maybe there were better actors in better flicks in a year that simply didn’t go their way.

Guess what? That’s life, and it isn’t always right or fair, especially given human subjectivity.

Where does “diversity” end?

Will we now see quotas for minority actors? And will they be for ethnicity, gender, and sexual preference too?

And what happens to those who get shafted because they have the wrong skin color, since overt reverse discrimination would be the new rule?

Think it can’t happen? It already does, from workplace hiring to college admissions to sports teams. And because of it, our moral compass is faltering. That’s not progress. That’s regression. It’s wrong, and it must end.

The boycotters would do well to recall Martin Luther King’s timeless words instead of hurling racial barbs around the town that gave them fame and fortune: “a nation where [people] will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

This fight will get uglier, as the Academy president is already caving in. And that means for this story, there won’t be a happily-ever-after Hollywood ending.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.


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Hollywood, long perceived as a bastion of unwavering liberalism, is being accused of playing the race card, employing discrimination in how Academy Awards nominees were selected, or, more accurately, not selected.
Emmy, Awards, Spike Lee, Oscars, Will Smith
Wednesday, 20 January 2016 01:45 PM
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