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The Trouble with the Oscars

 by Bennett Gordon


Tags: Arts, Politics, Oscars, race, The Root, The New Statesman, Bennett Gordon,

Oscar AwardFrom 1940 to 2001, only six African Americans won an Academy Award for acting. Only one of those actors, Sidney Poitier, won the award for best actor, and all the rest won for supporting roles. The academy has gotten better at recognizing African American actors in recent years, Todd Boyd writes for The Root, but the awards are plagued by its troubled history. Though Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Forest Whitaker, and Jennifer Hudson have won awards since then, Boyd writes, “any improvement over the way things were before 2002 must be considered relative to a previously dismal history.”

The movies nominated for this year’s Oscars shouldn’t be considered a step forward, according to John Pilger in the New Statesman. He writes, “This year's Oscar nominations are a parade of propaganda, stereotypes and downright dishonesty. The dominant theme is as old as Hollywood: America's divine right to invade other societies, steal their history and occupy our memory” Pilger takes down most of the Oscar favorites, including The Hurt Locker, Avatar, and Invictus, asking the question, “Why are so many films so bad?”

Sources: The RootThe New Statesman 

Image by Dave B, licensed under Creative Commons.