newest entry 2002-03-25 10:37 p.m.

I had a long diary entry here about the Oscars, and I kept going back and tweaking it and then finally just jettisoned the whole thing. It frustrates me, trying to articulate my discomfort about certain aspects of the show without sounding like a curmudgeon or uptighty whitey.

For instance, Halle Berry's acceptance speech really bugged me, and judging from comments in the media, I seem to be alone in this.

She certainly deserved to win--I've heard that her performance in Monster's Ball was revelatory. But her speech signified that this wasn't just a delightful case of talent being rewarded, it was an Extraordinary Triumph for Women of Color Everywhere, which leaves me--and much of her audience--out in the cold. This feels divisive to me, not unifying. I don't think she even acknowledged the other nominees (but I can't say for sure, because I couldn't hear over the sound of my own cringing).

Not to mention the ludicrous notion that a wealthy, successful former beauty pageant queen winning a stupid acting award is actually a meaningful step forward for our society. Or the implied notion that black actresses are actively discriminated against by The System because there haven't been any Best Actress Awards given to them in 75 years. That is such sloppy thinking (I mean, the Academy is not the same unchanging bunch of old white men year after year), and it is, again, divisive, and inappropriate for the spirit of the show, which is meant to be celebratory and fun and unifying.

As for "knocking down doors": Sidney Poitier truly knocked down doors, and he still had the humility and grace to acknowledge that it was a collaborative effort between him and his directors and producers. Berry, in my opinion, has not knocked down any doors.

I could go on and on here but I'm exhausted and kind of sick of the topic.


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