Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Where are the Black people? The 2011 Academy Awards Nominees are Whiter then ever

Perhaps the Oscar should be white instead of gold
Editor’s note: Posts on self-esteem and shame are delayed for one more day.

Everyone loves movies. The escapism offered by viewing a film grants us the opportunity to visit exotic locations and live vicariously through glamorous actors and actresses. Computer Generated Images (CGI) - produced almost entirely by white people - have led to such films as Avatar, the entire Pixar resume of films and countless action movies, allowing directors (almost all white) to utilize scripts (written almost exclusively by white people) that will eventually be scored beautifully by composers (almost all white) while actors and actresses (with few prominent roles going to Black actresses) work their magic in front of the camera.

Watching movies (and television), one would imagine the United States still has a population that is 90 percent white, as it did in the mid-1960s. Though token Black characters appear in movies cast as characters without historical equals (sometimes in situations that have no historical precedent or basis in fact), Hollywood remains an institution teemed in an astounding whiteness.

Traditionally the embodiment of the most progressive, Stuff White People Like (SWPL), Disingenuous White Liberal (DWL) mindset and agenda, Hollywood is tragically stuck in a situation where they must market their movies to the rest of America. Because of the scholastic shortcomings and ineptitude of Black people, vocations such as director, screenwriter, producer, composer and the small armies of support staff that work on the production of  films are overwhelming white.

You aren't handed jobs in life, you earn them, which is a contradictory concept to our entitled Black friends. 

Whenever a Black director, screenwriter, composer, actor or actress comes along and woes Hollywood, critics (most of whom are white and rabidly DWL) and the American public, they will be pushed to the moon, regardless of their portfolio.

It is a constant, deafening refrain come awards season when Hollywood gathers to congratulate itself for producing vapid films of questionable merit and shockingly little entertainment value that the monster of enforced, codified diversity rears its ugly, ever-expanding head.

Hollywood films and television shows preach an undying devotion to the tenets of diversity (glorifying every racial group – save white people - and normalizing every sexual orientation, life-style, etc.) and never fail to pay homage to the concept of Black Run America (BRA), but when Oscar season comes around (and the Emmy’s) few Black people are ever nominated and the Academy Awards voters will be forever castigated if they fail to bestow the  Oscar upon that Black person who is nominated.

Take this CNN article, “Where’s the Diversity at the Oscars?” which laments the paucity of Black faces up for awards. Isn’t it 2011, not 1951? Where is the progressivism? Certainly not the cabinet of the new Republican Ohio governor, but you’re telling us that a Gabrielle Sidibe film couldn’t be found precious enough to be nominated?

Black actresses have a tough time finding roles that will win them acclaim. It’s been nine years since Black history was made at the 2002 Oscars, when Halle Berry and Denzel Washington both won Oscars. Other than that year, the past 70 years of the Oscars have been nearly monochromatic in their whiteness, with a few token Blacks winning every now and then to maintain the mirage of diversity.

What does that CNN article say?:
After the Academy Awards ceremony in 2010, there was a great deal of hope that the glass ceiling had finally been shattered in Hollywood.
"The Kathryn Bigelow" effect was coined by some industry observers who believed that her win for "The Hurt Locker," the first Oscar for a woman director, would open doors of opportunity for females behind the camera. The riveting film "Precious" yielded a best supporting actress win for African-American performer Mo'Nique, and the first ever statuette for an African-American screenwriter in the best adapted screenplay category went to Geoffrey Fletcher.

But that was last year.

This year there was a decided dearth of diversity in the Oscar nominations. There are no women or people of color among the director nominees, and the acting nominees are all white. Javier Bardem, who is up for best actor for his role in "Biutiful,' is a Spaniard and therefore European.

Which raises the question: Why in an era of ever increasing diversity among movie audiences is that not being reflected among the nominees for Hollywood's most prestigious award? Where are the diverse faces both in front of and behind the cameras?

It's a complex issue that involves both supply and demand. 

But historically far fewer meaty dramatic roles, which are beloved by the academy, have been written for or awarded to actors of color, and women behind the camera are greatly outnumbered by men.

"The stories that we would really like to tell usually don't get greenlit," said Rocky Seker, a former creative developer for a director with Sony Pictures and now a film curator who runs Invisible Woman ... Black Cinema at Large. "We're just not taken seriously. It's all a moneymaking issue."

Both groups also find it difficult to break into the big-budget Hollywood films that garner the attention to carry the momentum needed for nominations. Seker said she often comes across wonderfully made black independent films that just aren't able to get big-studio backing or distribution deals.

While Debra Granik and Lisa Cholodenko have both received critical acclaim for their turns as directors of "Winter's Bone" and "The Kids Are All Right," respectively, their films did not enjoy the same media attention as "Black Swan" or "The Social Network," whose male directors were nominated. (Granik and Cholodenko both were nominated for their screenwriting efforts.)

Cathy Schulman is a producer of the Oscar-winning film "Crash" and president of Women In Film, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing sexual equality in filmmaking. She said that when there are 10 nominations for best film, but only five director nominees, invariably it means someone will be slighted.

"On the one hand, I am very encouraged to see that there are women sprinkled throughout most of the categories, with the continued strength as we've seen before in art direction, in music and in other areas that we have consistently seen a strength in," Schulman said. "What does disappoint is the lack of women in the writer, director, producer roles and some of the other key departments like cinematography and editorial, though there is one woman, Pamela Martin, who has been nominated for editorial (for "The Fighter") and that is certainly well-deserved."

Martha Lauzen, executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, said, "There are lots of reasons at both the individual level as well as the industry level that converge to suppress diversity both on the screen and behind the scenes."

Lauzen added, "The film industry does not exist in a vacuum; it is part of a larger culture, and our attitudes about gender and race are extremely deeply held. Those attitudes don't change overnight or with an Oscar win."
Hollywood and television have the ability to completely shape public opinion, steering debates on key issues any which way they desire. It is movies and television (plus sports) that have provided the bulk of positive (wholly fictional) examples of Black people, and it is through this medium that beloved stars like Will Smith, Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington and Jamie Foxx have become household names.

We have reached a point in Black Run America (BRA) where we have been trained to see Black people prominently in movies, television and sports, so that when they don’t appear racism is only acceptable culprit. The absence of Black people in any situation, whether it be vocation, avocation, awards ceremony or in academia can only be attributed to racism.

This is how the DWL mind thinks and increasingly all minds in America.

That the Oscars lack any Black nominees for Best Actor and Actress, Supporting Actor and Actresses, Director or for any discernable characters in Best Picture translates to unrepentant racism on the part of an entire industry that has been solely dedicated the complete, methodical destruction of anything resembling Pre-Obama America for the past 50 years (just take a look at Black Fictional Heroes).

Here at Stuff Black People Don’t Like, we don’t hide the fact that we love movies. It is obvious that movies and television have provided ample opportunities to promote agendas that would never, ever be accepted without careful behavioral modification placed in the story-lines (just check out White Dog if you don't believe us).

It’s just fitting that an entire industry is now thrown under the proverbial bus for not placating Black actors and actresses and the spattering of Black directors, screenwriters, producers, composers, animators, special effects designers, etc., enough.

A beast of monumental proportions has been unleashed in America. Black Run America (BRA) has made us so dependent on Black people that anytime a dearth of them are present, we feel racism is the only logical explanation for this situation.


Hirsch said...

The last great black director (and maybe the only one) was Gordon Parks Sr. Melvin Van Peebles was mostly a verite-style agitator. Spike Lee showed early promise but has been shooting blanks for well over a decade now. And he really stuck his foot in his mouth when he challenged Clint Eastwood to a piss-off. If you have the time, watch both "Letters from Iwo Jima" and "Miracle at St. Anna," and ask yourself who is the more consumate filmaker. It says something that a white man primarily known for his acting is a better director than the premier black director in America.

As for the Oscars, it's been one cinematic miscarriage of justice, year after year now. Hitchock never won (he did get a lifetime achievement award). Stanley Kubrick never won for direction. "Goodfellas" lost out to "Dances with Wolves."

Anytime someone says the Oscars are credible, just remember: "Three-Six Mafia" has won the same number of Oscars as Martin Scorsese. Don't think about that too long, or your head will explode.

joe-6 said...

Denzel Washington is the only good black actor especially in "Man on Fire"
Will Smith -- an idiot
Morgan Freeman ---awful pompous ass
Samuel Jackson-- He is good sometimes
Hale Berry -- a nutcase way over rated

Anonymous said...

Movies. Pfft. If I want to be preached at, I'll just take in a Baptist church. It's only an hour long, and I don't have to pay to get in.

Come to think of it, there aren't a lot of blacks that talk during the sermon either.


Anonymous said...

Spike Lee sucks, and he's a racist.

"Summer Of Sam" was pretty good though.

Anonymous said...

Please read!

How odd that this story is virtually absent from the US media.

Desiree said...

Denzel Washington is the only good black actor especially in "Man on Fire"
Will Smith -- an idiot
Morgan Freeman ---awful pompous ass
Samuel Jackson-- He is good sometimes
Hale Berry -- a nutcase way over rated

Oh my god! That is the list of stock black actors they always use in spite of other talent available. I am surprised a white person has noticed this. (Maybe save Samuel L. Jackson.)

We are making progress on SBPDL!!

Don't think about that too long, or your head will explode.

LOL! No, think of it real hard, Hirsch! Your head should make a nice sound, seeing that it is so big!!

Mish said...

"Javier Bardem, who is up for best actor for his role in "Biutiful,' is a Spaniard and therefore European.""

Thank heavens this was spelled out for us. I was certain that being a Spaniard, Mr. Bardem must hail from Asia.

"Seker said she often comes across wonderfully made black independent films that just aren't able to get big-studio backing or distribution deals."

Black people won't pay money to see black independent films. White people will pay money to see white independent films. The operative color here is green. The end.

Anonymous said...

"Black people won't pay money to see black independent films."

True, there are never blacks at our local art film cinema, or our local film festivals. Who cares about mainstream cinema? Most of the movies from Hollywood are garbage.

No matter what the movie, if it is a good art film, or has any real artistic content, blacks are not interested. It is just too complicated for them, and they might lose their black membership card if their friends and family find out. Blacks are not able to keep up with the intellectual plot of most art films and avoid them like the plague.

Anonymous said...

Money Money Money. Is what it comes down to. Mix that with a little racial and cultural ignorance. You got yourself an academy awards show people.

I grew up in Los Angeles (don't live there now) but Hollywood (as liberal as it may seem) still subscribe to the THE GOOD OLD BOYS NETWORK. For those who are historically ignorant, that means WHITES WHITES WHITES ONLY, NO COLOREDS ALLOWED.

(Joe said...Denzel Washington is the only good black actor especially in "Man on Fire"
Will Smith -- an idiot
Morgan Freeman ---awful pompous ass
Samuel Jackson-- He is good sometimes
Hale Berry -- a nutcase way over rated)

If this is how WHITE people see black actors. Then yes your Academy awards will remain, WHITER THAN EVER. Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

When looking at all the characters most black actors portray, and the attitudes they bring to those characters, there are really only 2 black actors that don't portray white-haters, people with chips on their shoulders towards white people, or with distinct attitudes of superiority towards white people: James Earl Jones and Will Smith.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon. February 28, 2011

"If this is how WHITE people see black actors. Then yes your Academy awards will remain, WHITER THAN EVER. Nuff said"

Actually, Black actors/actresses leave me wholly indifferent, I don't watch mainstream movies anymore. And since Hollywood is SO WHITE, why is it that the INDUSTRY is so saturated with Black characters?

You don't have a valid or credible answer I bet?

Nuff said, you're just another race hustler!

Anonymous said...

That "Women's Organization" for female "equity" makes me laugh. I can't believe that even has a place in academia. Boo-hoo, there aren't enough women in Hollywood - let's bitch about it. Women, like blacks, aren't "fairly" represented because:

A) They lack the means
B) They lack the talent
C) When they can't control what they don't like, they call racism/sexism.