Thursday, February 4, 2016

Where Did All The Nominees Go?

There is an interesting controversy brewing following the Golden Globes and the announcement of the Oscar nominees… there are several people upset at the lack of representation or minorities at the upcoming awards. Because Native American and Asian nominees were so prevalent for so many years, this radical change is seen as a slight. That being said, I think it should be noted that while there is a lack of representation of minority nominees as a whole this year, it does not mean that one shouldn’t support the industry which pays actors and actresses millions of dollars. Case in point, Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith will not be attending the awards ceremony the latter because of the fact that her husband, Will Smith, did not receive an Academy Award nomination for his role in Concussion despite being nominated for a Golden Globe.

While I doubt she will, Mrs. Smith can always simply take Aunt Viv’s advice (Janet Hubert was the first actress to play the role of Will Smith’s Aunt Viv on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air). In response to a video posted by Smith stating that she would be boycotting the Oscars and inviting others to join her in this action, Hubert, 60, posted her own video in which she condemns the Hollywood couple and stated the following in reference to Mrs. Smith:

"First of all, Miss Thing, does your man not have a mouth of his own with which to speak? The second thing is, girlfriend, there's a lot of s**t going on in the world that you all don't seem to recognize. People are dying. Our boys are being shot left and right. People are hungry, starving. People are trying to pay bills. And you're talking about some m***********g actors and Oscars. It just ain't that deep… And here's the other thing: For you to ask other actors, and other black actresses and actors, too, to jeopardize their career and their standing in a town that you know damn well you don't do that... I find it ironic that somebody who has made their living and made millions and millions of dollars from the very people you're talking about boycotting just because you didn't get a nomination, just because you didn't win."

However, let’s take a step back and look at the real issue and the real numbers. What is lost in the hype is the simple fact that the Golden Globes have two categories recognizing lead acting performances in Drama as well as Comedy or Musical. This makes for 10 total nominees at the Golden Globes with only room for 5 at the Oscars. Unfortunately, Smith got the short end of the stick and was replaced with Matt Damon with all other Drama nominees from the Golden Globes remaining in place. Damon won the Golden Globe in his category so someone had to take the hit.

However, I will concede the basis of the point that Lee and Smith have made in their boycotting efforts, there is a bias when it comes to awards. However, is has nothing to do with race… it is a much bigger issue that transcends race, religion, politics, etc. While there are some that are able to break through these terrible walls, the fact of the matter remains… the Oscars don’t take to kindly to Comedies or facial hair.

That’s right, I said it. Someone had to put it all out there and risk the backlash. Just take a look at the nominees this year in the Best Lead Actor Category for the Oscars in comparison to those up for the award at the Golden Globes. Nearly all those who didn’t make the cut with the Academy were up for the award in the Comedy or Musical category. However, a more startling revelation is that when you look at the photos, ALL of the eliminated nominees have either full-fledged facial hair or are a bit past the five o’clock shadow period.

We simply can’t stand for this blatant bias for the clean shaven actors who take on serious roles. They’re no better than the other nominees and it is time to take a stand. So, I would like to propose to Mr. Lee and Mrs. Smith that if they are serious about having an impact, don’t shave for the next month and walk that red carpet with the longest beard that you are able to grow. I am certain that the media will take notice.