Were there any people of color at the Oscars?
In this continuation of the In the Name of Kwanza series, I just wanted to answer the question above for individuals, who like myself, noticed that not only the red carpet at the Oscars this year, but also the nomination this year were not only white, but lily white.
Named one of Tim Gunn’s best dressed at the 2011 Oscars.
“Jennifer Hudson looks too desperate for attention in this skin tight bright orange gown that looks more suitable for a high school prom than the Oscars” says one “fashion” blogger of Hudson, one of few Black women who has ever won an Oscar. A black woman whose mother and brother were murdered just 3 years ago. A woman whose resilliance shined through on the carpet last night….
Reactions such as these are lined with a particular kind of racial insensitivity when Hudson and Halle Berry were two of few (perhaps the only, I didn’t watch the carpet from beginning to end) Black women who were even highlighted on the carpet. Additionally, there were no Black actors, actresses, or movies that were nominated for Oscars at all this year.
Surely, it could be argued that the blogger who I quoted above is only talking about Hudson’s wardrobe, but there is a reason why Hudson, a woman of color, appears to be wearing something “skin tight” while countless white actresses wore “form fitting” dresses. There’s also a reason why a viewer might see her fashion as immature, rather than worthy of the sophistication and the class evoked by the words Academy Awards.
All of that is the same language that keeps people of color out of the running in the first place. Black people have often been depicted as being sexually lascivious and immature. Our movies aren’t appropriate for the Academy. Directors aren’t sophisticated. Scripts and actors/actresses are immature…
Why can a (immature) bio-pic like The Social Network (a life story made about someone who is 26 years old) be nominated and win in a few categories? Something is going on when a movie about Facebook can be nominated, but movies directed, produced by Black directors, staring Black actors about real stuff can’t even be nominated. There have been other movies staring Black actors/actresses this year besides Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls. For example, Night Catches Us staring Kerry Washington and directed by a Black female director, Tanya Hamilton.
It seems that unless someone is singing (Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Foxx), playing a villain (Denzel Washington, Mo’nique), or getting naked (Halle Berry), then Black people aren’t winning any Oscars. That should tell you what’s wrong with relying on the “Academy” to tell you what’s good and what’s not.
Oscar don’t care about Black people.
83rd Annual Academy Award (Oscar) Winners
- Best Picture: The King’s Speech
- Actor in a Leading Role: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
- Actress in a Leading Role: Natalie Portman, Black Swan
- Director: Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
- Original Song: “We Belong Together” (Toy Story 3), Randy Newman
- Film Editing: The Social Network
- Visual Effects: Inception
- Documentary Feature: Inside Job
- Live Action Short Film: God of Love
- Documentary Short Subject: Strangers No More
- Costume Design: Alice in Wonderland
- Makeup: The Wolfman
- Sound Editing: Inception
- Sound Mixing: Inception
- Original Score: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, The Social Network
- Actor in a Supporting Role: Christian Bale, The Fighter
- Foreign Language Film: In a Better World (Denmark)
- Original Screenplay: David Seidler, The King’s Speech
- Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network
- Animated Feature Film: Toy Story 3
- Animated Short Film: The Lost Thing
- Actress in a Supporting Role: Melissa Leo, The Fighter
- Cinematography: Inception
- Art Direction: Alice in Wonderland