I will admit at the very beginning of this post I am not an actor. I am not even employed at any type of job. I suppose you could call me retired! I am not considered middle age any longer by the standards used in the United States of American. And I don't qualify to be Middle-Class, if the middle class average income is $51,700 per year. I am a white, retired, low-income woman who is going to talk about the diversity of the Academy Awards. Now that you know where I stand I can tell you how I feel.
Winning an Oscar should be because you were the best, of the best. I do not think it should be based on your skin color. The same as I don't believe people should be hired based on their skin color, their sexual preferences, or their wealth. People should win Oscars, Emmys, music awards or any other kind of award based on their talent.
I was reading that there are more than 6,000 voters for the Oscar. Those people are made up of people who are in the movie-making business. Actors, directors, extras, producers and etc. If the make-up of the members of the Academy reflects on the diversity of the United States then I am sure there are more white members than black members, than Mexican members and so on. That is just the way it is.
How should we enforce diversity? Or should we? While I can sympathize with Will Smith's wife because her husband was not nominated for an award this year I cannot empathize with an actor who is worth more than $240 Million (that is Will Smith's worth according to Forbes). Or Spike Lee's estimated worth of more than $40 Million. The whole controversy makes me mad. How can we ever make this country a true melting pot if we still have people that are expecting to be treated differently.
On the other side of the coin I cannot imagine what kind of controversy would be stirred if certain athletes decided to boycott the NBA or the NFL due to the lack of diversity. See how silly that would be?
American people need to drop the labels and just become Americans. Not Black Americans or White Americans or Mexican Americans. Just Americans. I am rarely known as a white, middle-aged, low income woman. I am just me! Can't that be the title we use for all people. Isn't it time we drop the labels.
Wonderfully said, Paula!ReplyDelete
I had to smile at your analogy to an NBA team - or the NFL - is spot on.
Personally, I'm sick and TIRED of folks taking offense to every little thing. Aren't we better than that?
It seems to be the way of our world anymore, doesn't it?ReplyDelete
A thoughtful and well-reasoned post, Paula. Anyone reading your blog knows you to be fair-minded and good-hearted, and I value your thoughts on this and any subject! Yes, please, let's drop the labels that divide us, and adopt some labels that unite us!ReplyDelete
Thank you Dame. You have said some very kind things. I think it is going to take all people to agree to drop the labels before we can move forward.Delete
I heard somewhere that the average voter for the Academy Award nominations was in their 60's and was Caucasian. The Academy was going to try to "diversify" that for the next year. Acting is subjective I think. I could never act and would never call myself an actress, but I might enjoy someone in a role and thought they did a great job and someone else wouldn't feel the same way. Maybe we need to do away with award shows like this.ReplyDelete
I read that too Betty! But that is a pretty fair representation of what the United States is too! And you are right about it being subjective. But isn't that true of almost all awards that are handed out? I just don't think we need to keep drawing lines in the sand when it comes to race. Let's just all agree we are Americans...not black or white!Delete
I think the problem here is that the movies being made don't have enough diversity.ReplyDelete
I am not a big fan of movies period. But they have seemed well diversified over the years, to me!Delete
Hi Paula - I can't pass comment ... but sometimes films and actors seem to be left off the lists and I'm sure they qualify as much. As the mechanism isn't transparent ... we can't tell can we - but the imbalance is odd. Looks like the Academy is going to revitalise itself ..ReplyDelete
It's good to balance the Oscar listings with those in Britain, Berlin, Venice and Cannes ... where other nominations are made.
That is true Hilary!Delete
I totally agree with your comments. I think that there are still issues between the races in our country. I think that bigoted attitudes die very hard, especially when they are passed down through generations. And I think there was a time and place for helping to change those attitudes through the civil rights actions needed to force those changes. And changes have been made generally and need to continue to be made.
BUT I also think the pendulum of change has swung at times too far so that some changes have been unfair in the opposite direction. That maybe be a natural evolution and a method of evening the playing field until we can find a happy medium.
Success in the entertainment and sport industry for minorities, however, is clearly established. People vote for those they think are successful - with their entrainment dollars. I have no patience with the Oscar issue. Those minorities that are most vocal on this issue are enormously rich - because people voted with their dollars - more important that a statue. That Gold Statue has been a popularity contest for years rather than a selection of who actually was The Best!! Let's focus on making sure there is equality in education, professional jobs, living conditions, leadership positions - the things that really count.
Sometimes entertainers become too focused on their own importance! This is an example of that to my mind.
Elaine, I think there will be issues in the United States between the races until BOTH sides agree that the past is the past and stop with the use of labels. I have found that blacks are just as guilty of this as whites are!Delete
I was sitting here this morning debating if I should write a blog post about this issue when I read your blog. Well said.ReplyDelete
Last year my community had a certain ethnic group, still Caucasians but who thought they should hold special status, complain that they were being discriminated against. They actually were upset because no one from their ethnic group had been elected to the Township Board. Really?
I think the push for diversity has gotten out of hand. What if all the white folks boycotted football and basketball games until more white players made the teams? Just saying.
Why are we so focused on numbers and skin color instead of quality?
I sat on mine for a few days before I hit publish! So easy to offend others now days. If we want to move past things like Affirmative Action we need to try to move past this too!Delete
very well saidReplyDelete
Movies matter in that circle. If he made a not too great movie... then nope, doesn't get nominated. If he was less of the best on the list... nope he doesn't get it. Reminds me of a Kanya thing.ReplyDelete
I feel the exact same way Kathy! If you aren't good enough, then maybe that is why your weren't nominated. Has nothing to do with the skin color!ReplyDelete