Call it # ShockValue… or just #KeepingItReal…. 2016 Oscars host #ChrisRock sliced into #diversity concerns and the #OscarsSoWhite controversy… with a sharp tongue! Being the #wise and experienced comedian that he is… Rock mixed in a lot of #humor with some #HardCoreTruth…and a touch of sweetness…to create a unique #marinade for the # audience to simmer in the entire show.
All of Hollywood will be talking about everything he had to say for a minute… but the question remains….will his “in your face” approach be enough to bring about a change for diversity in Hollywood for real…this time?
One of the most memorable quotes of the night from Rock regarding black actors was short and sweet..with him saying: “All we want is opportunity… and more than just once…”
The comments were met with strong applause… but only time will tell if Black Actors finally get to take advantage of those missed opportunities…
especially after years of having one “black friend role” available in an entire film… or TV show cast. Chris Rock also talked about that in his monologue.
Traditionally the “friend roles” have gone to black males, leaving even fewer opportunities for African-American females.
Female actors of all colors are included in the demand for more diversity overall. The subject of ageism, and equal pay…was addressed by several A-list actors making the rounds at pre-Oscars events.
Let us also not forget…that efforts to retain more female directors in the business is a hot button issue as well. Entertainment Industry groups like Women in Film..have been instrumental in providing filming grants, and mentorship program for aspiring female and directors in Hollywood to bolster the numbers from less than 8 percent.
~Back to Black~ The term Hollywood “Black out” runs much deeper than not having black actors nominated for Oscars.
Casting issues, and concerns about hiring more actors of color has been brought up…but in order for minority actors to get roles… they have to get auditions… and in order to get auditions… they have to be represented by good managers and agents..who can open those doors… for actors, and negotiate fair salaries and privileges for performers.
There are still huge numbers of talented black actors…unrepresented by agents in the industry. Many say they simply aren’t getting picked up.
For the few black actors lucky enough to be on the roster of an agency, there have been reports of very few calls for auditions, and actual castings in productions.
Even black background performers… traditionally known as “extras” or stand-ins… say they have had little… if any work at all.
While a handful of programs have been created to recruit minority writers…producers..studio executives… and showcase actors… frustrated actors of colors say they never find out about these opportunities. Those who say they managed to stumble across the information… claim it is extremely difficult to meet the stiff qualifications, and gain interviews for positions. The retention level of blacks in these key jobs also needs to be examined and reviewed.
Some say certain minority training programs leave it up to applicants to connect with studios and show runners to get designated jobs on their own… without the guidance and influence of Hollywood departments and respected leadership.
Unfortunately, minority candidates exclaim they are not getting through with phone calls, and written inquiries.
Hollywood… they say…is known for having the toughest gate keepers in the land.
Needless to say… there is a lot of hurt pride from black actors being overlooked… and excluded from the business…
You could see emotional faces in the crowd during reaction shots from the audience…after harsh criticism about the lack of diversity in the industry.
Rock even made mention of black actors…who should have been nominated for their talents.
Straight out of Compton was the only film with black actors even nominated. The irony is.. the nomination was for screenwriting… by all white writers.
Soooo…Chris Rock took to the streets of Compton… just to see what people in that area had to say.
While many folks in Compton agreed that actors of color deserve opportunity…they knew very little about the films starring white actors…who were nominated in all the categories.
As it stands… there is a lot of work to be done in Hollywood to make things more fair… and level the playing field so actors can score more jobs..and awards in the future. Hollywood is definitely going to have to undergo serious reconstruction. Powers that be will have to install more doors to swing open with opportunities… instead of those designed as facades to keep people out..
Low numbers of minority voting members of the academy…is also being reviewed for improvement. Keep in mind… these are the folks who determine who gets nominated for Oscars.. more importantly they’re the ones who select winners.
Recent statistics revealed the majority of the membership was dominated by older white males.
The numbers of academy members who meet eligibility requirements to vote…after a certain number of years…is also being re-worked.
More diverse teams of writers are needed to contribute key voices that represent all kinds of people and story lines. Voices that honestly reflect the diverse groups of people in the real world we live in today.
Faces of color are needed in those writing rooms, and on cast and crews in general for production work. Oh Yes, this issue runs deep!
With various issues in history affecting the state of affairs, politics, economics and so on… Oscars 2016 was epic, because for the first time a lot of these things have been ignored or glossed over in the past were hit hard. Ironically, it took a rock to do it… Chris Rock.
Chris Rock joked that he was not about to boycott the 88th Oscars…and lose another job to Kevin Hart! How could the audience not get a good laugh after that statement.
Kevin Hart was all decked out in a flashy designer tuxedo, and literally waiting in the wings. Hart had his fellow comedians back, and in turn… also expressed concern about diversity issues… when it was his time on stage as well.
Chris Rock included a few comical bits with kids throughout the show, and other well known characters… or people.
After some hard and bitter truth, the sweetest moments came…when Rock brought out Girl Scouts to sell cookies at the Oscars!
As a former Girl Scout, I got a big kick out of that… I was thrilled to see those cookies being purchased by wealthy stars in the industry. Did you see all those big bills up in the air… being waved around with so much care…oh yeah!!!!
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs delivered an eloquent speech regarding diversity in the film industry… re-igniting a spark of hope for more positive things to come…
It’s Interesting… that the #OscarsSoWhite controversy…switched over into a LIVE platform calling attention for #equality and #justice for ALL!
Vice-President Joe Biden…and Lady GaGa teamed up to shine the light on issues of rape and sexual abuse. Victims who have long suffered in silence… were acknowledged for having the courage to STAND UP! It was a powerful moment indeed..
Turns out… Oscars 2016 has been one for the ages… How it will effect Hollywood in the future… or even for the next Oscars broadcast has yet to be seen… After seeing and hearing so much lately… It’s guaranteed that a CHANGE is going to come… Cue the song….🎶🎶