The Oscars 2017
If you are a creative like me and passionate about film, The Oscars are a motivator to keep pushing to learn new skills and create your best work. In the past the Oscars have been exciting (as much as they could be when they focused on white entertainers and creators) but, this year in particular felt like a breakthrough because so many black people were honored or featured in the show. Most of the people I know were on the tip of their toes to find out whether or not Moonlight would beat Lala Land for Best Picture…and it did. It was such a spectacular moment to hear that Moonlight, a coming of age drama about the experience of a queer black man growing up, had been recognized for its excellence. For black people in film, this was a milestone because Barry Jenkins hard work had paid off and it shows all of us as filmmakers that we can accomplish great things and be recognized for it. Times are changes and things are slowly turning up for people of color. Of course, there was still casual racism at the Oscars like Jimmy Kimmel making several jokes about Mahershala Ali (who, by the way, won an Oscar!) and Kimmel discrediting Moonlight’s win for best screenplay. I also found it to be disappointing that Denzel Washington did not win the award for best actor (Viola Davis won best actress!) for his spectacular performance in Fences. ESPECIALLY because he lost to a white man accused of sexual assault. Once again America rewards a white man and overlooks his crimes against humanity, women in particular. Sound familiar? (*cough cough, the fool in The White House*)
The Oscars, overall, felt like some baby steps forward. We still have a long way to go for equal representation. I had no idea no latina woman has ever won an award for best actress! In the future, I would like to see more representation of people of different racial backgrounds, nationalities, sexual identities etc. Also, I hope to see The Academy condemn people who are sexual predators in the same way that Nate Parker and The Birth of a Nation was shunned at The Oscars this year. I would also like to see Laika Animation win an Oscar for their stunning animation style and compelling storytelling!