#OscarsNotSoWhite??

Illustration of a man in formal attire standing next to the Oscar statue, with his arms open in as if asking a question

Tears of joy weld up in my eyes as I listened to Regina King’s acceptance speech for her big win tonight.  I thought to myself that even with the Academy awards being “hostless” this year, maybe the show will be worth watching after all.  I mean it’s no secret that the Oscars are known to be snubbers with their nominations for certain types of movies—and actors, but with an African American woman winning the first award of the evening, perhaps the show is determined to defend their un welcomed name:  #OscarsSoWhite.

However, this years’ Oscar viewers will need to have an acquired taste if they want to enjoy the show.  Seeing as there will be no host to help segue between commercials and award presentations, the show will be a straight one hundred and eighty minutes of award presentation after award presentation.    

This years’ ‘hostless’ show comes as one of many to air in the 91 years of the shows production. Since the shows inception, it consciously ran without a host in the 1970’s, with it’s latest no host show airing in 1989.

Initially, actor and comedian Kevin Hart was offered what is said to be “The Least Wanted Job in Hollywood,” according to the Hollywood Reporter– back in December.  But after controversy surrounding decade old homophobic tweets made by Hart spewed about, the Academy told Hart that either he apologize to the LGBTQ community again or they’d find a new host, Hart chose to decline the offer altogether.  In a statement reported by CNN, Hart issued a public announcement via his social media accounts, stating he decided to step down as host because he did not want to be a distraction on such an important night and because he did not want to feed into the internet bullies regarding a topic he has apologized for and “addressed several times.”  

What people on the outside of the show’s production are unaware of though, is that there is massive ‘politicking‘ involved when it comes to determining an M.C. for such large and highly dignified events like the Oscar’s. Although the members of the Academy have reported they do have concerns about tonight’s show executing with no personality in between awards, critics are saying this may not be such a terrible thing for the Academy, according to NBC news.  

If you ask me, I agree with the critics.  From as long as I can remember the Oscar’s has always been a very conservative, stay inside the box type of show.  There really hasn’t been any initiative to keep up with the changes of the world today. For example, 2016 is the year the conversation of #OscarsSoWhite erupted, which was the same year the Academy was called out for snubbing the movie ‘Straight Outta Compton’.  At the time, the film had marked a number one spot in the box office for 3 consecutive weeks following its release and grossed over $200 million, but the Oscar’s did not give the film any accolades, nor did any of the films all black cast receive an invitation to attend the show. But do you know who was invited and received a nomination?  The films four white screenplay writers.

Now while I don’t believe that the hard nosing, I mean rationality toward Hart is 100% #OscarsSoWhite, I can’t help but think that part of the reason this year Oscar’s are ‘hostless’ does have something to do with past years of people of color not being recognized.  I think today, the black community is fed up with being over-looked and shoved under the rug. Kevin Hart would have made a fantastic host for the Academy, but I agree with him. I wouldn’t be rehashing old wounds that I have already healed, just to appease someone who in the past hasn’t shown the same respect to my people.  Perhaps, after this years’ show, things will go forward, get better and The Academy will learn to show some recognition and respect to the voices that represent the African American community.