The 3 Weirdest Things About The #OscarsSoWhite Controversy
Since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced an all-white ballot of 2016 Oscar Nominees for 20 actors, along with a blatant disregard for movies with black themes that might have otherwise been nominated (Beasts of No Nation, Creed, and Straight Outta Compton, most specifically).
The backlash from both the industry and American audiences has been strong, swift, and social-media fueled; #OscarsSoWhite began trending immediately, asking the Academy to address the world’s concerns, and according to The New York Times, they’ll announce these measures sometime next week.
While we await team old-white-guy’s decision making, let’s take a second to discuss some of the more weird, confusing issues that this controversy has brought up:
1. Stacey Dash is crazy.
The first crazy thing about Stacey Dash is that she’s 49 years old, and somehow looks like she’s the EXACTLY the same age as the high school student she played in Clueless 20 years ago. The second crazy thing about Stacey Dash is that she’s taken this opportunity in current events to voice her backwards—albeit consistent, as we know since she’s contributed such ideals to Fox News for a few years—opinions on the state of blackness in America.
While appearing on Fox & Friends, she slammed Spike Lee, along with Will and Jada Pinkett Smith for their plan to boycott this year’s Oscars ceremony, saying the decision was “ludicrous”. Her prescription for the state of racial affairs in our country?
“Either we want to have segregation or integration. And if we don’t want segregation, then we need to get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards and the Image Awards where you’re only awarded if you’re black.”
And while Fox is known for their incessant sensationalizing of hot-button issues, the most troubling aspect of this is how hurtful this feels for those who need empowered voices in situations like these, rather than wackjobs like Stacey, who, although possibly believes what she’s saying, I would imagine, is probably just looking to get her oddly youthful face viewed on television more often.
2. Chris Rock is supposed to be hosting (?!)
Though some (including 50 Cent and Tyrese) are publicly calling for Chris Rock to step down from his gig as this year’s Oscars host, it feels wildly confusing that Chris Rock would be offered the position in the first place.
Why would the Academy, allegedly ignorant enough to nominate only white people for Oscars, want Chris Rock, famed literally for his career as THE “outspoken” black comedian (remember like, twenty days ago, when his response to Jennifer Lawrence’s pay-gap essay was, “If she was black, she’d really have something to complain about”?) be invited anywhere around those people?
3. The Academy’s president is a black woman named Cheryl Boone Isaacs.
And she said that the all-white ballot was “really disappointing.”
This statement was released two days ago, where Cheryl (who became president in 2013) acknowledges the issue, but nobody’s really buying it. She’s saying the whole debacle is just unlucky—an unlucky “bounce I never want to see happen again”.
Maybe the unlucky bounce is real. Maybe she’s the one that suggested Chris Rock host, and maybe she has nothing to do with the nominations. Maybe Chris will savagely shred the Academy to laughable bits, creating memes for years to come. Maybe Stacey Dash is a reptilian shapeshifter. Only time—and Twitter—will tell.