Will the promise of skipping the Oscars by powerful Hollywood duo Will & Jada Smith, Spike Lee among others impact the usually robust viewership of of the Oscars’ tonight? Sources close to production have hinted to us that Chris Rock rewrote his entire script from scratch after the #OscarSoWhite Controversy that took Social Media by storm. Many are saying that Chris will use tonight’s ceremony to speak up about Black Hollywood’s claim of Racial Bias in the Academy and for that reason, a few of who might have wanted to boycott the show will tune in for at least Rock’s opening monologue. In light of the controversy, it appears that the Academy have gone through great lengths to increase the number of minority presenters for the 88th staging of the prestigious show.
Hollywood heavy-hitter and award winning producer Steven Spielberg weighed in on the controversy a few days ago when he spoke to US Magazine about some omissions he thought were shocking. Spielberg said–“I’m a huge supporter of the Academy Awards,” he said. “I was surprised at some of the individuals who were not nominated. I was surprised at [the exclusion of] Idris [Elba] — I was surprised at that. I think that was one of the best performances in the supporting actor and the actor category, was Idris. I’ve seen Straight Outta Compton — my wife and I saw it when it first opened, the first weekend, and it just rocked our world. It was incredible. I was very surprised to see that omission.”
Idris Elba who some noted among this year’s Oscars most blatant snub, because of his stellar work in Luther was not shy in sharing his opinion on lack of diversity in the in the film industry. Being a multinational actor, his take on the industry’s troubling shortcomings was a bit more expansive. In speaking to Parliament Magazine earlier, Idris said– “The reason I went to America is because the USA has the most famous diversity policy of all, and it’s called the American dream,”The problem is the gap between the dream and the reality … to champion diversity is to champion the American dream. That’s the guarantee I want here in Britain. Where’s the British dream?” It’s clear to us also that racial equality in the film industry is not only an American problem but a universal one.
Only twenty four hours stand in the way of the Oscars and the Nielsen ratings and the world is waiting to see if all the talk about racial inequality and the boycott by some viewers did in fact place a dent in the mostly white’ ballot boxes. In the meantime, with feet up and bubbly uncorked let’s raise our glasses to three hours of pretentious celebrities, flashing lenses, emotional speeches and over-the-top couture fashion at its best!