Monday, February 29, 2016
Audiences who descended on the Dolby Theater in Hollywood on Sunday night were certainly expecting active discussion about the diversity issue at the Academy Awards, but when Chris Rock took the stage to open this year’s ceremony, they probably didn’t expect it to be as sharp and insistent as it wound up being. What it also was, even amongst the numerous laughs, was an opportunity for the comedian to use his tongue to spread around the underlying blame of the issue, even to those on his side of the aisle. In one of the night’s most memorable jokes, his aim fell directly on Jada Pinkett-Smith, who lashed out after her husband, Will Smith, wasn’t nominated. “Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties,” he shot back. “I wasn’t invited!”
Saturday, February 27, 2016
As we draw closer to the 88th Oscar telecast, a very visible dark cloud has nestled over the motion picture academy in what many are calling a divisive year of contention. It is a scenario made all the more prominent by the very public outcry made by members in the voting body, who have called for a boycott of the ceremony because of a distinct lack of diversity in the actor’s playing field – namely, a shortlist that includes no black actors. Spike Lee, one of the more vocal members, refuses to participate or watch. Others have suggested that Chris Rock, who is assigned hosting duties, to resign from participating. And with various other members of the debate lending support – or opposition – to the cause, the prevalent feeling is that all the attention of possible winners has been absorbed by the politics of the scenario, creating distinct divides that have both escalated the issue and opened old wounds.