Before I launch into this rant, let me clarify: I’m all about diversity. I think people should have equal opportunities in life. Whether that’s with jobs or marriage or anything that happens to a person.
With the Oscars handed out last weekend, there were several moments that jumped out at me. I didn’t understand the relevancy of calling out different groups during a win.
Examples: “So-and-so is the first African American such-and-such to win this award…” and “She is the first woman to win this award…”
My question is: What does that matter? My next question is: Where does it end?
Do we call out the first gay winner? The first left-handed winner? The first Canadian? The first cancer-surviving winner?
I don’t feel it necessary to call out certain demographics because it doesn’t matter. I just assume that the most deserving people are being nominated. If you were the best actor, you were the best actor — end of story. Apparently it’s not that black and white, so to speak. If it was about race/colour/religion, etc. then have a “best black actor” category. Otherwise, an actor is an actor, right?
Perhaps this all started with that #OscarsSoWhite protest a couple of years ago when people noticed there was a lack of diversity in the Oscar nominations. Again, I think if you’re looking to spin something, it’s not hard in today’s world. You can easily get people in an uproar if you suddenly point out something you see not happening.
Personally I think it’s a stretch. Then again, I’m a white male so it’s easy for people to say I wouldn’t see it the same way as a minority. Sure, I’ll give you that. But in a world full of labels, calling out “hey, there’s diversity and we’re making strides” I think that just reminds people that it’s not equal for everybody. But we already knew that. So is it necessary to highlight it again?
It almost seems like nominations won’t be genuine because there will be criteria for the academy. Do we have a female in the pack? Is there an African American in there? Have we covered all the bases? If you ask me, that’s when you aren’t nominating people for the work they do, you’re simply completing a checklist to appease people.