Friday, February 05, 2016

This Week in Neat-O

So, here's a bunch of stuff about the Oscars and racial diversity:

:: ScreenCrush has a video highlighting every black actor who has won an Oscar in competition. All 14 of them. 14 in 87 years. They also have a video montage of white actors playing non-white characters...

Did you hear about Joseph Fiennes playing Michael Jackson? His jokey justification that MJ was closer to his color by the end is so insensitive on so many different levels that I have a hard time even looking at Fiennes now. Luckily, it doesn't come up much...

I'm also not going to bother posting what Helen Mirren said about this whole thing, but it could easily have been headlined "Elderly White Oscar-Winner Defends Elderly Whites Who Give Out Oscars." What I said about Charlotte Rampling still applies.

And Joel Coen shouldn't have even opened his mouth, because he clearly doesn't understand what he's talking about and just ended up looking like a moron.

:: I'm So Damn Tired of Slave Movies. This editorial makes a very good point.

:: Here's a People article from 1996 about this same issue on the lack of diversity in the Academy, for anyone who thinks this just suddenly became obvious.

Here's some other stuff:

:: I really like the Pokemon Super Bowl commercial. Damn, has it really been 20 years? I am so old.

:: Speaking of Pokemon, here's the commercial for the Detective Pikachu game, which is a real thing.

:: Star Wars Outpost, A Cancelled LucasArts Game, Looked Way Better Than FarmVille. I would've played this all day and lost years of my life.

:: Each day, the New York Times is publishing a rare photo with a story behind it as part of their Unpublished Black History Project. This is definitely worth checking out.

:: Here's another trailer for The Witch. I wish I was watching this movie right now.

:: I also can't wait to see Laika's Kubo and the Two Strings, which has a great trailer, too.

:: Another trailer: Miles Ahead with Don Cheadle (who also directed) as Miles Davis. One of the movies I'm more interested in this spring.

:: What DC's 'New 52' Got Right—And What It Got Wrong

:: Roger has an interesting post--the first in a series--taking a look back at The Black Comic Book from 1970, which satirized the funny pages, checking in on how they did. Very interesting stuff.


Keir said...

I wasn't so quick to disparage Mirren although I was curious as to why she would courageously wade into the shoals of received wisdom. I think she has a point that few of the films that have formed the basis for the argument that black actors have been snubbed are those most would care to watch. One can only watch yet another film about slavery or, in the case of Straight Outa [sp?] Compton, murderous rappers.
Maybe it's because my son is mixed-race, but why no outcry about the lack of Asian candidates? Are blacks even the largest minority in the US?

SamuraiFrog said...

I don't know that Mirren has a point about anything, but Viola Davis had a better point about how black actors (and by extension, other people of color) don't have the opportunity to star in movies that aren't about slaves or rappers, etc. There's no reason, other than no one thought about it, that The Martian couldn't have starred Chadwick Boseman or Kumail Nanjiani or John Cho. I've read the novel and there's nothing that says it has to be a white man other than the kind of "white default" thinking that is really what the conversation is about it.

I see the outcry for every group more often on Tumblr than in the media, but you're right that it's not just the lack of black candidates. Off the top of my head I can think of only one Asian actor who won the Oscar, Haing S. Ngor.

Technically the largest minority in the US is Latino/Hispanic, but that's a very diverse group.