The Oscars are many things to many people but usually they’re not for all. At least that’s what the Academy continues to portray, especially when it comes to honoring the artistry of black and Latino entertainers consistently.
At last night’s 87th Oscar Academy Awards show on ABC Neil Patrick Harris opened the show welcoming “the talented and the whitest… I mean brightest,” he said. Harris, who was amazingly funny as the host of the show, gave a verbal punch at the Academy’s lack of diversity.
Yet, and not surprising, Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarrito won the Oscar for Best Picture and Best Director for the film “Birdman”.
“I pray that we can find and build a government that we deserve, and the ones that live in this country, who are a part of the latest generation of the immigrants in this country. I just pray that they can be treated with the same dignity and respect as the ones who came before and built this incredible immigrant nation.”
But lets not leave out Emmanuel Lubezki, another great Mexican, on winning Best Cinematography for “Birdman”. Lubezki was nominated seven times since 1995 (“My Little Princes”) and adding another award with last year’s win for “Gravity”.
The Oscar for Original Screen Play went to the Argentinians, Armando Bo and Nicolás Giacobone, for the film… guess who… “Birdman”. Yes, the movie that featured no Latino actors (even though Edward Norton and Michael Keaton kicked ass) won a lot of awards.
But other than the film from Nicaragua’s Gabriel Serra Argüello, “The Reaper,” nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject – there wasn’t another film directed, produced, written or featured in the awards ceremony. And for obvious reasons I’m not counting on the Oscar’s Foreign Language Film category.
At some point the chair-people at the Academy need to welcome diversity and not continue to be “the whitest” as Harris said. Maybe, just maybe, this is the reason why the glamorously pale awards ceremony didn’t do well in the TV ratings and dropped 17 percent – a six-year year low – on a 10.8 rating.