The Oscars Shockers

Alexis Hansen, Staff Writer

“The White People’s Choice Awards” – as Chris Rock describes the night – started off with a bang. Chris Rock didn’t waste a second as his opening monologue tackled all of the issues regarding the Oscars being so white again for a second year in a row. Rock pointed out that something like this has happened “at least seventy-one other times” so it shouldn’t come as a shock that there weren’t any people of color nominated. After mentioning how not everything is sexism or racism, he shot at the massive elephant in the room with a resounding, “We [black actors, director, & writers] want opportunity”. To a prosperous and mostly white audience, Chris Rock left everyone feeling uncomfortable.

With jaws dropping leading up to the Oscars, some people came out against it before the show even started with the #OscarsSoWhite torch being reignited. As Will Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, vowed not to attend in an all out boycott, many followed. Jada had even said in a Facebook post, “”I can’t help but ask the question: Is it time that people of color recognize how much power, influence, that we have amassed, that we no longer need to ask to be invited anywhere?. . . So let’s let the Academy do them, with all grace and love. And let’s do us, differently.” As astounding as her response was and as many as had taken her message to heart, Rock just had to make things awkward by dissing her, telling her blatantly that she wasn’t invited.

During the show, Chris Rock wasn’t the only one who made the audience squirm around in their seats. Many announcers like Tina Fey and Steve Carell came on too strong in the hopes to make the crowd laugh in an environment that was already burdened by discomfort. When Jenny Beaven went up to receive Mad Max’s Oscar for Best Costume Design, nobody clapped. Nobody. In fact, many speculations lead to her being a dressed down costume designer as the reason for why her celebration was muted by stifled audience failing to clap for her. Speaking of a suffocating audience, Lady Gaga’s song she wrote that’s all about sexual assault was indeed cringe worthy. It The Oscar for Most Embarrassing Moment of the Night went to Stacey Dash for her needing to justify how black she is. She provided her input on the whole #OscarsSoWhite beef by saying, “When they added ME to increase the diversity, I’m sure many black people rolled their eyes. I’m not ‘black enough,’ they say. But guess what? I’ve heard that all my life.” I don’t remember seeing anything in the program about this year’s Oscars being so focused on everything but the awards. But hey, it made for an interesting mess.

After the Oscars, people took to their keyboards to put out their opinions on this which called for Stacy Dash and many others to explain themselves for why they said what they had said. People questioned Lady Gaga’s amazing performance for its intensity. It begs us all to wonder if the Oscars is even about Best Picture anymore. The Academy Awards seems to be turning into the Super Bowl where all everyone wants to see is the outrageous commercials and halftime show that calls for social justice. Social Justice seemed to be a running theme for the Oscars this year. With all the force of racism, domestic violence, and many other issues being brought into the mix, not everyone wanted to be an activist.

Years from now, it’s likely that no one will remember who won Best ______ (fill in the award) and few will remember Leo’s finally getting an Oscar award. But many will remember Chris Rock’s job as the brutally confrontational host that made everyone feel uncomfortable.