And Still in the Race for Diversity…
Okay as for this weekend’s writing activities I found myself still in a hoopla regarding the cheap, nonsensical, and egregious articles — including source citations — that is perceived by some people as “lacking diversity” when all one really needs to do is read any of these pieces to see that it is not diversity that is plaguing this year’s Academy Awards but rather overtones of racial animosity.
In a flurry of wins at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Sundance Film Festival, diversity made a comeback. Over just a few hours Saturday night, the SAG Awards and Sundance showered their honors on a parade of performers and films that presented a stark contrast to the crisis that has plagued the Oscars. Shortly after the screen actors handed out awards to Queen Latifah, Uzo Aduba, Viola Davis and Idris Elba (twice), Nate Parker’s Sundance sensation “The Birth of a Nation,” a drama about Nat Turner’s slave rebellion, swept the festival’s awards.
The two ceremonies, in Los Angeles and Park City, Utah, offered a night of reprieve from weeks of rancor over systemic inequality in the movie business and a second straight year of all-white Academy Award acting nominees.
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to diverse TV,” said Elba in his third trip on stage as a presenter at the SAG Awards. His first two were to accept awards for his supporting performance in the Netflix child soldier drama “Beasts of No Nation” and for his lead performance in the BBC miniseries “Luther.” Is this the kind of celebratory speech we should expect from anyone?
“Thank you, Sundance, for creating a platform for us to grow, in spite of what the rest of Hollywood is doing,” said Parker, whose directorial debut sold for a record sum to Fox Searchlight Pictures. Not being glued to a television set, I will readily admit that I did not see this person accept any awards; however, I do take notice at remarks such as this one.
The Sundance Film Festival has been an ongoing event for more than 50 years now. Therefore, it is well over obvious to me that Parker, with his “creating a platform for us to grow,” is being disingenuous as many of his counterparts in outright attacking the AMPAS with his remark of “in spite of what the rest of Hollywood is doing.”
I would like to share just a tiny bit of history of motion pictures with anyone who will continue reading. There is no doubt whatsoever that the Academy and affiliated institutions are a cultural phenomena.
The industry — like so many other industries in the USA — were founded and funded by both male and female white Jews who some allege were trying to build new opportunities in the field of the Arts. These very individuals — some could even trace their lineage to the Nazi Concentration (death camps) camps.
There were indeed times in the sixties as well as the seventies when the public dug in for their favorites with an implied threat. The films and those actors were rewarded. What is really annoying to me is that the attitude seems construed toward race rather than merit.
Under these conditions it is difficult to want to listen. There are a whole lot of people, affiliate guilds, unions, and actors/actresses to influence; however, blaming the Academy in which every nominee comes from is also diversified.