Sue me, I didn’t watch the Oscars because I didn’t want to sit through hours of really wealthy actors and actresses patting each other on the back. I do, however, enjoy reading whatever interesting things are published about it the next day. This may make me the laziest pop culture critic to ever exist and I gladly accept that title.
So here is my recap based on nothing but other recaps.
All I have to say is that I sort of wanted Leo to never actually win an Oscar and just forever be Oscar-less. Does that make me a terrible person? The man dates beautiful actresses and is super wealthy, stop trying to make me feel bad for him, people. I promise you he doesn’t need an Oscar to make his life better, it’s already pretty sweet.
With this Oscar win, I am hoping the Leo memes die a quick, painless death.
Also, from what I’ve heard about the The Revenant, it’s just Leo basically doing his Leo screaming thing. I’m sure it takes years to perfect screaming and grimacing in a believable way. But does that deserve an Oscar? I’m not sure.
Chris Rock apparently – wait for it – rocked hosting the Oscars. He called out Hollywood for being a racist boy’s club and gleefully made the majority of the room uncomfortable. As he should! The Academy attempted to “up” their diversity by shoving a bunch of black actors and actresses forward as presenters, which is all very nice and well but doesn’t actually address the real issues that led them to this controversy in the first place.
Excerpts from his monologue are below:
“Woo! Man, I counted at least 15 black people on that montage.
Hey! Well, I’m here at the Academy Awards. Otherwise known as the White People’s Choice Awards. You realize if they nominated hosts, I wouldn’t even get this job. Y’all be watching Neil Patrick Harris right now.
But this is — this is the wildest, craziest Oscars to ever host, because you have all this controversy, the no — no black nominees, you know?
And people are like, Chris, you should boycott, Chris, you should quit, you should quit.
You know, how come it’s only unemployed people that tell you to quit something, you know? No one with a job ever tells you to quit.
So, I thought about quitting. I thought about it real hard.
But I realized, they’re going to have the Oscars anyway. They’re not going to cancel the Oscars because I quit. You know? And the last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart. Okay? I don’t need that. Kev — Kev right there. Kev make movies fast. Every month. Porno stars don’t make movies that fast.
Now, the thing is, why are we protesting — the big question, why this Oscars? Why this Oscars, you know?
It’s the 88th Academy Awards. It’s the 88th Academy Awards, which means — this whole no black nominees thing has happened at least 71 other times. Okay? You got to figure that it happened in the ‘50s, in the ‘60s. You know, in the ‘60s, one of those years, Sidney didn’t put out a movie. I’m sure — I’m sure there were no black nominees, some of those years.
Hey, if you want black nominees every year, you need to just have black categories. That’s what you need. You need to have black categories. You already do it with men and women. Think about it. There’s no real reason for there to be a man and a woman category in acting. It’s — come on! There’s no reason! It’s not track and field. You don’t have to separate them. You know, Robert de Niro’s never said, “I better slow this acting down so Meryl Streep can catch up.” No. Not at all, man. If you want black people every year at the Oscars, just have black categories, like Best Black Friend.
That’s right. “And the winner for the 18th year in a row is Wanda Sykes. This is Wanda’s 18th Black Oscar.”
But here’s the real question. The real question everybody wants to know, everybody wants to know, in the world, is Hollywood racist? Is Hollywood racist? You know, that’s — that’s a — you know, you got to go at that at the right way. Is it burning cross racist? No. Is it fetch me some lemonade racist? No, no. It’s a different type of racist.
That’s right. Is Hollywood racist? You’re damn right Hollywood’s racist. But it isn’t the racist you’ve grown accustomed to. Hollywood is sorority racist. It’s like — “We like you, Rhonda, but you’re not a Kappa.” That’s how Hollywood is.
But things are changing. Things are changing. Yeah, we got a black Rocky this Year. Some people call it Creed, I call it Black Rocky. And that’s a big — that’s an unbelievable statement, I mean, because Rocky takes place in a world where white athletes are as good as black athletes. Rocky’s a science fiction movie. There are things that happened in Star Wars that are more believable than things that happened in Rocky.
We’re here to honor actors. We’re here to honor film. And there’s a lot of snubs. A lot of snubs. One of the biggest snubs no one’s talking about, my favorite actor in the world is Paul Giamatti. I believe he’s the greatest actor in the world. Think about what he’s done. Last year, he’s in 12 Years a Slave, hates black people. This year, he’s in Straight Outta Compton, loves black people. Last year, he’s whooping Lupita, this year, he’s crying at Eazy-E’s funeral. That’s range. Ben Affleck can’t do that.
But what I’m trying to say is, you know, it’s not about boycotting anything, it’s just, we want opportunity. We want the black actors to get the same opportunities as white actors. That’s it. That’s it. You know? Just — you know, not just once, you know? Leo gets a great part every year. And, you know, and — everybody — all you guys get great parts all the time.
But what about the black actors? Look at Jamie Foxx. Jamie Foxx, one of the best actors in the world, man. Jamie Foxx — he is. Jamie Foxx was so good in Ray, that they went to the hospital and unplugged the real Ray Charles, like, we don’t need two of these. No, man.
But the big — you know, everything is not about race, man. Another big thing tonight is, you’re not allowed — somebody told me this, you’re not allowed to ask women what they’re wearing anymore. It’s a whole thing. You know, Ask Her More. You have to ask her more. Now — you know, like, you ask the men more. Hey, everything’s not sexism, everything’s not racism.
They ask the men more, because the men are all wearing the same outfits, okay. Every guy is wearing the exact same thing. You know, if George Clooney showed up with a lime green tux on and a swan coming out his ass, somebody would go, “What you wearing, George?”
So, he touched on a lot of points but he should get credit for lampooning an awards ceremony that takes itself so seriously. Hollywood is a largely white club where you get in if you fit the right parameters. You have to be white or the right kind of person of color. If you’re a woman, haha, good luck being relevant for more than five years and the casting call description of your role ever being more than “sexy but approachable”.
Rock was being criticized for not taking issue with the lack of diversity in general and neglecting to include other people of color besides black people. Which, I’m not sure why he has to be the voice for everyone? I feel like that criticism is invalid. He’s talking about what he knows in an already-critical speech at the Oscars – he can’t speak for everyone.
And, well, to be perfectly honest, I’m not sure about the last part of his speech when he mocks the #AskHerMore campaign because, yes – women are asked about their clothes because they certainly have more varied clothing choices than men but many times, that’s ALL they’re asked about. (Sidenote: thank god they shut down that stupid mani cam.)
Not everything is sexism, as Rock points out, but there’s also micro-aggressions that once in a while, you can shrug off. But when you’re living in a culture so intensely appearance-focused, it’s difficult to continually shrug off the continual barrage of unsolicited comments and difficult to watch the same thing happen to other women.
For God’s sakes, during the Weeknd’s song, there were sexy violists that did little more than act as props. Yes, they were playing an instrument but that wasn’t enough. They have to sexily play an instrument. It’s not enough to be good at something as a woman, you have to look good doing it.
Joe Biden introduced Lady Gaga’s song, “Til It Happens To You”, while taking the opportunity to talk about the “It’s On Us” campaign, saying: “We must and we can change the culture so that no abused woman or man, like the survivors you will see tonight, never have to ask themselves, ‘What did I do?’ They did nothing wrong.”
Lady Gaga proceeded to kill the hell out of “‘Til it Happens to You” which was written for the sexual assault documentary, The Hunting Ground. As she sang, 50 sexual assault survivors walked out on stage with phrases like “Survivor” and “It’s Not Your Fault” written on their arms.
It was a rare, dignified and powerful moment during an otherwise frivolous awards ceremony. We have a long way to go before we can start claiming victory over rape culture but Lady Gaga’s performance is a visual symbol that the good fight is still being fought.