imei filter David Oylow Post a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter He details the rippling effect of the now infamous Oscar slap. Oyelowo has been a spectator of a number of drama episodes at the Academy Awards, from the disqualified “Selma” for Best Actor and Best Director that sparked #OscarsSoWhite in 2015 to its viral reaction to the accidentally “La La Land” ad for Best Picture.
More from IndieWire
“Like most of us, nothing can prepare me for what’s to come,” Oellow wrote of the 94th Academy Awards. “As a black man in the public eye, you are constantly aware of the fact that your very existence is political. You are always in a state of either being used as an example to perpetuate or refute a stereotype. These stereotypes are associated with criminality, urbanization, education, sexual prowess, poverty, social responsibility, And much more. It is a burden that I have to bear although it is stressful by nature.”
“The moment I slowly realized the nature of what had just happened on stage at the Dolby Theatre, I experienced the same heightened anxiety that all blacks feel when the face in the news after reporting a crime is black,” Oellow added. “You find yourself thinking, ‘What does this mean?'” For us?” “What does that mean for me?”
After the Oscars, Oyelowo at one party encountered an older white man who was “enjoying his behavior” while saying Smith “should have been pulled out of there”.
Oyelowo commented, “You might agree with that feeling, but that’s not what he said, it’s road he said that. I know that taste. I know this behavior, and it’s ugly to its core in all encrypted messages. “
The “Midnight Sky” representative added that the Academy has made “significant gains” since #OscarsSoWhite, particularly for “improving the shamefully unequal race and gender demographics.”
However, Oellow cautioned about how Smith’s altercation could affect this progress.
“It would be naive to assume that the incident between Will Smith and Chris Rock would not be pushed, by some industry professionals, through the lens of race,” Oellow continued. “Some of them will be the same people who resisted inclusion measures Cheryl Boone Isaacs and her supporters at the Academy have been able to move forward resulting in a more diverse Academy… In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, the entertainment industry has made many pledges to increase the diversity of our business. Some intentional. Some celebratory. … What I fear is that this unfortunate incident, which we all have to deal with, will have a negative impact on the ongoing push for inclusion.”
He added, “There are those who, in trying to make sure something like this never happens again, will operate through unconscious — or conscious — bias. A bias that still governs a lot of Hollywood decision-making. It would be tragic to try to prevent something like this from happening. The incident is once again an excuse to roll back ideas about inclusion and diversity. This would underscore the disingenuous nature of some of these undertakings in the first place. This incident should not be a starting point for proxy arguments in Hollywood circles about race, respect, and belonging.”
Oellow concluded that while the “unfair” attack on rock music and the overriding of Oscar night as a whole “can’t be overstated,” there must be acknowledgment of the other half of this discussion.
“Let’s not forget that there was a tendency embodied in the man who approached me at that later party,” Oylowo concluded. “The chattering gauntlet and his half smile on his face are indicative of what must not be allowed to creep in in the aftermath of this incident. We must be vigilant against making decisions that might detrimentally affect the gains of the Academy, Cheryl Boone Isaacs and all those who fight for the industry and the entertainment world. more diverse, inclusive and equitable.”
Read the entire opening article here.
The best of IndieWire
“Internet maven. Reader. Tv fanatic. Friendly communicator. Certified alcohol practitioner. Bacon buff. Explorer. Evil twitteraholic.”