I have to admit, I am struggling to decide what I actually think about the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.
Part of me can’t help but recall ‘Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s…’ Wondering if anyone should care whether the academy has or has not; will or will not.
Is it the academy that validates your work, the box office receipts or the ongoing testimony of those whose lives are indelibly marked by what they saw?
Whilst I am not religious in any way, I still remember to this day what I took away from this particular lesson from bible studies about taxes, coin and contextualising your complaint.
I would be lying to say I pay much attention to the Oscars or use the nominating and awarding process as a barometer of what I believe to be a good, great or indifferent performance or film.
Much in the same way I ‘used’ to love professional wrestling, I now (as an adult) have little time for the ‘show’.
For me, the emperor not only has no clothes, but rules over an empire whose subjects are questioning his claim to power and doubt the influence he holds.
No matter the accolades, I continue to cringe at Titantic and the fact an opportunity to retell a tragic tale of hubris, human suffering and the futility of man – when he is forced to succumb to nature – was served up as a ridiculous love story.
Avatar? Best that I don’t even begin to speak of my thoughts.
So when the cries for boycotting the show ring out, I can’t help but feel something more important is wrong. That perhaps the opportunity to make the argument compelling has already gone.
If you decry the lack of recognition, of validation, are you still longing to belong?
And if you long to belong to that institution do you have to accept it for what it is, change it through participating in the ‘game’ and seek to influence it where your argument is most strong?
‘Render unto Caesar…’ Is the power in the coin?
Is the answer get in the game or get out? Affect the industry at the box office, in the pocket – not after all the players have left the stage and have all gone home?
Boycotting the awards ceremony is a little late – surely. The problem began long before the red carpet and way before the opening song.
The fight is surely about more screen plays, more production, more casting and more roles.
The power is in the coin.
If you have managed to accrue influence and wealth through your participation in the game, use that powerbase to right what you see is wrong.
More roles, more opportunities, more production, more coin.
Start the boycott before the ballots go out.
As I said. I am not sure what I think about the boycott. What I do know is that I don’t know the last time I turned the broadcast of the Academy Awards on.
But, perhaps – maybe, if the blue-ribband event was unpalatable for prime time viewing, would that too affect the coin?
Would it indeed further poke the social consciousness?
Tip of the iceberg. The problem goes way beyond what happens after the opening song.
Your thoughts? Let’s talk.