Watched the Shame-fest known as the 88th Academy Awards last night. The president of the Motion Picture Academy wanted to have a conversation on diversity, and man-o-man those white folk got a talking to. It was like listening to an evening, and granted it was funny at times, of someone scolding the cool kids. I could nearly feel a stiffening in the audience when an African American commentator would speak about “getting the opportunity to compete for parts”, but at the end, when they showed all those white faces looming down from the rafters as nominees for Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, etc it was absolutely creepy. I felt I was watching footage from a GOP convention. As creepy as it was, it was a breath of fresh air compared to that Hollywood self-congratulatory, slap on the back attitude which ushered in “Argo” a few years back.
As uncomfortable as it might have been for all concerned (I thought Daisy Ridley was going to be sick- did her co-star John Boyega refuse to cooperate with the Hollywood power-brokers?), I think it was an excellent reminder of privilege, who benefits from the system of privilege, and who gets to have their stories told.
So yeah Hollywood, you ain’t all that. Clean up your own house, and take a long look at that Man in the Mirror.
For more on the function of shame, see my husband’s latest blog here and learn what a branks is.