As a little girl I grew up watching the Oscars and all the big award shows, dreaming of giving my own speech one day. My mom loved award season and passed this on and my sister and I got hooked at a very young age. We would give speeches with our hair brushes right along with the T.V. Even in our small suburban town in Minnesota the Oscars were a big deal. We would make yummy food, get in our pjs and gather around the television set to see all the glamour that Hollywood had in store for us. I have never given that tradition up, much to my family’s dismay. Oscar Sunday is sacred in our house. As I got older and had my own kids I carried on the tradition. I still get all excited and make great food, have girlfriends over and watch all the pre-show coverage. Unfortunately my kids are not that into it. Maybe it’s growing up in Los Angeles or having access to many television channels, but they are not at all as ceremonious, about it, as I was. Also the Oscars do not represent young America at all. It is an old, boys club and always has been.
So when this whole controversy broke out regarding the lack of diversity, primarily black actors, producers and writers, I was really disheartened but not surprised. For years we have all noticed that the Oscars, in particular, have not represented the real world of film, or for that matter the real world at all, But this, now, has given us all a reason to take a glaring look at the politics of the Oscars and make a change. In past years the majority of the movies have been so obscure most people have not even seen them or been interested. It’s clear the Brits have completely taken over American movies, even playing Americans in some of their roles. Sometimes I feel like I’m watching the BAFTA’s.
Well it’s not going to change until we change the voting system and take a look at who’s doing the voting. If we’d like the nominees to represent the movies we are passionate about and depict what we are really seeing then we need to start at the beginning and have diversity in the voters. Who’s voting you ask? This is the big question. Well, there are 51 members of the Academy’s Board of Governors. Most of them are white males over 61. Of the 51members there are only 2 non-white members and one was just elected in July. So you see, we can not implement change if we are not at the table and a part of the conversation. To me the boycotting solution is not helpful in the movement to effect change. We cannot alter the rules of the game if we are not in the game. Instead we have to have an open dialogue about moving the Oscars into the 21st century to represent what America is all about. And what is America all about? The American Dream is to be able to create, do and be anything you want to be if you work hard enough and the Oscars have a responsibility to ensure that this dream is attainable. Because in the end why do we all come to LA/Hollywood in the first place? We move here to become stars and have access to that golden statue no matter what the color of your skin! 😉
I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this issue!