Last night's Oscar broadcast was an absolute train wreck that saw the show's own host, Chris Rock, spending a great deal of time deriding the very Academy he was hired to showcase. After all, this isn't the Golden Globes, which has all but given up on being a credible awards show in favor of the high ratings that come from Ricky Gervais' roasting of Hollywood's elite.
In the weeks leading up to this year's Oscar broadcast, a ridiculous amount of media coverage was paid to the perceived lack of diversity displayed in this year's nominations.
Truth is, there isn't a lack of black roles in Hollywood, just a lack of imagination when it comes to casting them because, last time I checked, Kevin Hart was black and he was in every movie that came out last year, or so it seemed.
In truth, it wasn't just a lack of black actors and actress being nominated, but a continuing cycle of the same actors and actresses being nominated year after year whether their roles warranted it or not.
Every single year for as long as this writer has been watching have seen dozens of worthy actresses lose their chance for much-deserved recognition to the likes Mel Streep, Nicole Kidman, Kate Winslet, or Cate Blanchett, who are nominated for even their most phoned-in period pieces. This was never more evident than in 2007 when Blanchett was nominated for not one, but two performances.
Can you name both films for which she received her nominations? Probably not, and therein lies the real problem with the Oscars being out-of-touch with most moviegoers: nobody saw, much less enjoyed, her portrayal of a thinly-disguised Bob Dylan in "I'm Not There" simply because the film itself saw onyl limited theatrical release, yet that didn't stop many of the Academy's voters checking off Blanchett's name on the ballot.
What the media forgets to mention in their infantile coverage of the subject of racial inequality in Hollywood is that Jamie Foxx, who just so happens to be black, accomplished this same feat in 2004. Can you name both films for which he was nominated? Again, probably not.
The reason I mention this is to highlight that fact that the Oscars has always been an awards show devoted to snobbery and exclusion.
Next year, of course, the Academy will attempt to respond to this criticism and show their diversity by nominating films that would quite fittingly not be nominated at all. In other words, the safe money is on Tyler Perry receiving his first nomination for his riveting performance in "Madea Busts A Cap In Yo' Ass" despite being the sort of schlock peddler who sets back his own race by constantly portraying black people as one-dimensional idiots.
Ah, but his box-office success no doubt trumps whatever artistic merit his films may lack because, at the end of the day, paying the requisite amount of lip service to racial equality will win out over the showcasing of extraordinary talent.
Rather than complain about their exclusion from the Oscars, perhaps the black community should focus more on rewarding worthier directors to make better movies than the schlock that Perry constantly peddles. Perhaps the likes of Spike Lee should make better movies, too, or, at the very least, find a role for Cate Blanchett or Mel Streep.
How about we compromise and simply abolish the Oscars altogether as a relic from a long forgotten time that no longer serves any real purpose?
Yeah, didn't think so.