Leave the drama off the carpet or don’t watch

Maggie Shepeard

Hollywood has never been shy of drama, and it would seem the Oscar awards of 2016 is going to be no different.

The venue of the 88th Annual Academy Awards Ceremony will once again be the Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre, which is just steps from the historic Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles.

Chris Rock will host the live broadcast airing at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 28.

Racial tension is but one of many heavy issues that has gripped this year’s awards show by the palm and will cast a proverbial elephant in the room come the night of the event.

The drama has many people,  including A-list  celebrities, boycotting the event due to the total shut out of any black actors or actresses in any of the major categories for the past two years.

Some have even speculated that certain nominees are using the platform to further their own selfish agendas.

Despite the beautiful West Coast venue atop all of the glitz and glam, stars like Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith are boycotting the event due to  racial reasons.

This is just another example of the problem that racism still exists in America and that’s in every walk of life.

It doesn’t matter how you portray it in the next big movie, real racism is ugly. It is pure hatred, and there is no place for it anywhere.

It’s a shame to think that race is still an issue that gets swept under the rug when it comes to Hollywood production.

It’s an absolute travesty that this is still happening, and if there is really a problem, it needs to be addressed—the sooner the better.

The movie “Concussion” starring Will Smith came out this year and it was expected to be a sure Oscar nomination for him by many. Now they think he’s been snubbed.

Others who were also notably snubbed this year include the African American actors who starred in “Straight Outta Compton.”

However the secondary roles played by white actors in the same movie were nominated.

I will note that there is also a slew of other great actors and actresses, both black and white, that the awards show has completely ignored in the past. Still, it didn’t appear that them not getting nominated had been based on any one particular thing they did wrong.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced plans of diversity reforms to take place with its voters in January, according to the Associated Press.

Exactly what that  means and when it will be implemented may not be decided for some time, but I for one am hopeful for sometime around the next award ceremony.

Looking back on the Academy Awards from recent years, some of us can remember Michael Moore winning Best Documentary in 2003, in which he condemned the government (mainly President Bush) during his acceptance speech.

In 1973, Marlon Brando was awarded an Oscar for Best
Actor because of his role in “The Godfather,” and he boycotted the event and even went to the
extent of having a Native
American woman accept the award on his behalf.

Sacheen Littlefeather then delivered quite a poignant speech on the
mistreatment of Native Americans by the film industry.

That is sadly not the first  year there’s been racial issues surrounding the Academy Awards, and the event has come yet again to the forefront of
noteworthy buzz in the news.

Perhaps the Oscar awards have become some kind of
platform to sort out grievances for some, but in my opinion, it’s all too fancy of a night to have it be about anything other than the movies and A-list stars
celebrating.

Race is an issue that affects all of us through one form or another.

Even if that kind of stuff really is going on behind the scenes in some of my favorite movies, I hope that the Academy Award board members will look closely at current policies and that some of them will come to the conclusion that something has to change.

This is a serious problem that has to be taken care of now, and we must make sure not to let future award ceremonies be
tainted with garbage like this so the ceremony can get back to
being everything it was meant to be—entertaining.