Boycott the 2016 Oscars. Chris Rock has decided to pass on the growing pressure being applied by many in the Hollywood Black community to support the boycott of this week’s Oscars.
The boycott is no joke. Will Smith, his wife Jada Pickett Smith, and Cuba Gooding, Jr. two of whom are Academy voting members, are on board. Gooding said he did not even exercise his position as an Oscar voter this year and never sent in his ballot.
That to me sends a double message: We as Blacks can never get to a position of insider and voting member and not exercise that voting right. The issue that is no Blacks were nominated in 2016 in any major films, yet obviously the Oscars will go on nationally on ABC-TV Sunday.
But what is Chris Rock to do? As host of the nationally televised program, it’s all in the presentation we at home should not watch, right? If so, than why is Rock hosting and not supporting the boycott if we are fighting against what the Oscars represent?
Obviously Blacks have won Oscars before and have been nominated before. Just a few
include Sidney Poitier, Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington, Whoopi Goldberg, Halle Berry and Samuel L. Jackson. But now today many in the industry are angered by what they feel to be this barrier that has put a limit on access opportunities for the potential successful careers of so many Black actors.
Rock has not given in to the Black pressure of Smith & Smith or his community to support the boycott and pull out as host of the Oscars. His huge popularity and crossover appeal as an actor comedian puts him in a unique position of power. As host of the Oscars, he can only jab so hard in front of the cameras at the Academy that feeds him over the argument and bias that speak to the center of this boycott and protest of the 2016 Oscars.
We have run out of time. Will the outside protest before and during the Oscars program get to the center of the problem? By watching on TV, are we supporting? The answer is yes, so by not watching the Oscars Sunday hosted by Rock, we will help deliver our message to the academy of arts.
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.