Dear Academy Awards: Tell Us the Reason

I try my best to keep my anger at bay at things which I don't have any control over or which don't affect me directly.  It became a point of mine as I realized I'm getting older and that stress shows up on your face in wrinkles and whatnot.  Regardless of how well you know do know one thing for sure and that is that I'm vain as hell.  If getting mad at ish ages me then I'm going to flit around this mofo like a Disney bird twittering and ish.  So I tend to STOP AND BREATHE more and more.  I do have family, framily and friends I vent to...but for the most part we discuss and let it go.  I also just put it out there on Facebook by posting an article and commenting on it and then just read the comments to see if anyone else feels the same or...whether it's just me.

When the Academy Awards nominations were announced, I wasn't surprised at the lack of diversity.  I doubt anyone was.  I know some expressed shock and awe but honestly...they weren't shocked either.  Everyone knows it's a game of politics and political players tend to look the same in most of the top arenas where politics are active players.

Question: How Do You Become a Member of the Academy?

Answer: Membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is by invitation only. The Academy sends out invitations to a very limited number of qualified members of the film community once a year. Membership in the Academy normally fluctuates between 6,000 and 6,500 voting members.

Candidates for membership are proposed by current Academy members and then voted on by committees consisting of prominent representatives of the Academy’s 14 branches - directors, screenwriters, documentary filmmakers, etc. A candidate normally has the backing of at least two members of the branch for which he/she may qualify. Candidates must receive an endorsement by the appropriate branch executive committee before their name is given to the Board of Governors for its approval.

The Academy has tightened their entrance standards, with only the most impressive candidates invited to join the distinguished group. Academy Award nominees, if not already members, are automatically considered for membership (but not guaranteed an invitation to join).

The majority of the members are from the United States of America, however membership is not limited to U.S. citizens. Members remain eligible to vote until they have passed on or opted for retired (non-voting) status.



I thought about the studio films which had a solid cast of Black actors in them this past year:

1.  Selma - Loved it.

2.  Addicted - Just watched it the other day and couldn't finish.  The menZ were pretty though.

3.  No Good Deed - Never finished it.  Probably won't even though I LURVES Taraji.

4.  Repentance  - Will watch this week.

5.  A Haunted House 2 - *BLINK*

6.  The Single Moms Club - No plans to watch.

7.  Get On Up - Really enjoyed it.

8.  The Equalizer - (On the fence about including this one since Denzel was the only Black person.)  Enjoyed it...wasn't Mr. Washington's best but not his fault.

9.  About Last Night - TRULY enjoyed it!

10.  Think Like a Man Too - TRULY enjoyed it!

11.  Belle - LOVED it...knew it wouldn't attract many though.

12.  Ride Along - I love Kevin Hart so yeah...TRULY enjoyed it!

13.  Annie - Didn't watch it and kinda feel really bad that I didn't so I'll rent it soon.


15.  Beyond the Lights - TRULY enjoyed it.  

16.  Dear White People - #StillMad

I got annoyed last night and a friend asked me if I truly felt that "Selma" should have won best picture.  

Me:  Have you ever seen "Malcolm X" or "The Color Purple?"

Friend:  No.

Me:  Did you see "Selma?"

Friend:  No.

Me:  Why?  

Friend:  Well, I don't support Spike Lee because I think he's a racist and I'd never even heard of "The Color Purple" before I met you because I know that's one of your favorite movies.

Me:  And "Selma?"

Friend:  I meant to go over the holidays but the time just got away from me and with kids it seems I only get to go see kid movies anyway.

Me:  Fair enough....have you ever seen a Woody Allen film?

Friend:  Of course.

My response was pretty much the following:

Well you'll understand that I understand that "Selma" meant something completely different to me than it did for you.  Emotionally there was a connect that many don't have and not just with White people.  I know a LOT of 20 and 30something Black people who didn't see it and well...I can't say it was something a teenager would choose to go see if their parents or school didn't take I get that nothing is required viewing.  But "Malcolm X" is one of the most amazing films of our time.  You should get over your thoughts on Spike Lee and watch it one day same as I got over my distaste of the man Woody Allen is because I understand watching his movies is like an alternative film class with a perspective I'd never have.  Living in his world would be a fantasy for me and the closest I'll ever get to it is by watching his movies and watching how it is to exist without many of the worries most of us have.  Being able to do and say exactly as you wish at all times is something afforded to the few.

The conversation continued and, this morning, I've had similar conversations with friends, Black and White.  And one Asian woman.  

My thoughts on the Oscars get me angry far before nominations.  It's way back up in the deep...when producers think about what's next on their agenda.  What kind of movie do they want to make next.  Who is going to be the next star?  Who will they touch and change their life.  It goes back to how I felt here:

Black Filmmaking:  The Elephants in the Room...

The recent success of television shows with Black people in them have finally given me hope that the money rolling in will make Hollywood HAVE to factor in diversity in such a way that there will be room for more than one at a time.  You know how it Black Hollywood there can't be more than one it someone in a certain position at a time.  We get one it television show runner, one it director, one it actor, one it comedian.  LOL!  One at a time please!  No pushing!  No shoving!  Form ONE line!  WE'RE GOING TO USE THIS ACTOR IS 14 MOVIES this year because we only allow one at a time!  Yall know the drill!  Slow your roll!

So yeah...I'm hoping it gets better but you'll understand if I'm cynical as fuck about it cuz yeah...

Anyway...I'm happy "Birdman" won so big and I'm over-the-moon about Common and John Legend's win.  They are young Harry Belafonte's to me and I love them so.  They are not afraid to speak what needs to be spoken to the masses things which benefit ALL and not just them.  They made/make me proud.  

I got so annoyed at how many Black actors were onstage handing OUT the awards.  LOL!  I mean...that ish got to be comical.  One of my FB friends said it was the Oscar's version of "The Help."  

I didn't care for some of the nonchalant lack of Black people jokes either.  Like when Jerry Seinfeld said that they really never did much with Black women during his bit on the SNL anniversary show and then kept it moving.  LOL!  I mean damn!  

Just wow.

Anywho.  Again...proud of and glad for Common and John Legend and their entire teams behind them.  Keep raising those bars and keep 'em talking and crying.  Every little bit helps if it gets into the minds of those with the power to make diversity in films really happen.  

Me, myself and I personally?  (I hate that expression and am just using it to make someone laugh.)  I'm going to re-watch "What's Love Got to Do With It" again.  Anna Mae and Ike were ROBBED!