The 95th Academy Awards took place on Sunday. While there were many high points and amazing fashion, there were moments of tone-deaf humor and to no surprise eyebrow-raising wins.
Last year, the world was in an uproar over "the slap," many people in and outside the room were captivated in "fake outrage" of Will Smith's actions. If the outrage wasn't fake, then why was it acceptable to not only make fun of it but reference "the slap" at many moments during show? After all, the incident was "tragic" and or "traumatic" right? Another viral moment was the obvious Oscar snub from Angela Bassett. Her facial expression or lack thereof, has gone viral - with one popular outlet calling it "shade."
Let's circle back to the title of this blog, "It wasn't shade... it was disappointment." There's an acceptable level of tone-deafness when it comes to major award shows. An anonymous Oscar voter had this to say to Entertainment Weekly: “Viola Davis and the Lady Director Need to Sit Down, Shut Up, and Relax.” The voter went on to say that they've never watched "The Woman King" Raising the question, how can one vote on movies and not be required to watch ALL the nominees?
While the Oscars are notorious for being whitewashed, the disappointment comes from the lack of effort required for certain people to win. As for BIPOC excellence is somehow equal to white mediocrity. The BIPOC community have to go above and beyond for even a smidge of recognition and appreciation. Much like in the workplace, where women of color receive pennies on the dollar compared to not just men, but other women of other ethnicities.
Michelle Yeoh, ever so talented, gorgeous, creative, a force on screen and a gem behind it won her first Oscar for "Everything Everywhere All at Once." Yeoh made history as the first Asian actress to win an Oscar and the second woman of color to win this specific award - the first was Halle Berry in 2002.
While the majority of the BIPOC population wasn't surprised, social media turned into a free for all of the disrespect to Jamie Lee Curtis. While Curtis is a star and undoubtedly a true talent, winning an Oscar for a role where she was hardly seen - is where the outrage lies -and honestly, is a disservice to her talent.
Bassett gave a heartwarming and wrenching dialogue in her part in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever." Her words not only resonated with her character, but with an entire community of Black people, women, parents, and more. It wasn't just cute words created in a writers room, it was the truth of a nation that is widely underserved.
Curtis, who is phenomenal and won her first Oscar last night, has been an amazing actor for various roles that should've been Oscar-worthy in the past. This win seems like the Academy was playing catch-up, giving a win to someone who was long overdue.
It's almost a slap in the face to continue to be hopeful in places that continue to put a divide and show you that you are not welcome. In a space that feeds off BIPOC talent, beauty, gifts, thoughts, and creations, at the end of the day, it still screams "to us you aren't good enough."