Monday, March 06, 2006

The Ghettofication of the Academy Awards/ African American Oscar Nominations: Double Edged Sword?

I know you have all heard it by now and were just WAITING for me to say something....

As you may or may not know, the Academy tradition is that all the songs nominated for Best Original Song are performed during the awards show, and after the last performance, the award it given.

For those of you who missed the show let me paint the picture for you.

Three-6 Mafia was the last group/artist to perform, and the graced the Oscars with their original song for the film "Hustle &Flow" which was titled "Its Hard Out There for a Pimp". For those of you who don't know who Three-6 Mafia is, they are a Southern rap group with hits such as "Stay Fly." They were introduced by Chris Bridges aka Ludacris (who by the way, looked very dapper that evening. I was very impressed with his overall look). Teraji P. Henson, who starred in "Hustle & Flow" sang the hook (" You know its hard out here for a pimp. Just tryna get that money for the rent.") while dressed in a rather unflattering white "Marylin Monroe Seven Year Itch" knockoff-- someone needed to tell her that she needed to wear a bra or some stickies or something... she was about to fall out of the thing. They had a 'pimped out' set, complete with pimps, hoes, theatrically coreographed and staged street fights and bitches getting the hell slapped out of them by their pimps. Of course, Three -6 Mafia came dressed for the occasion in throwback jerseys, baggy jeans, platinum chains and grills in their mouths.
They got permission to say 'bitch' and 'shit' in the performance of the song.
Interestingly enough, Terrence Howard, who was given the nomination for Best Actor for "Hustle..." was also supposed to perform, but the rumor is that the Black Hollywood Elite 'encouraged' him to sit this one out. And he shonuff did.

Immediately following the performance Academy Award Nominee Dana "Queen Latifah" Owens presented the award for best orignal song... and had the pleasure of handing the Oscar over to..... Three-6 Mafia.

I swear, I thought I was watching the Source Awards.

The best parts... Morgan Freeman's look of COMPLETE mortification, Queen Latifah's inability to contain herself, the Arsenio Hall "woof woof" arm motions from Three-6 Mafia's cheering section in the back, and Three-6 Mafia's acceptance speech which was sprinked with a few expletives.

That whole fiasco just set Black people back 15 years...

Then to add insult to injury, Terrence was nominated for portraying a pimp. Let's look at a few recent Academy nods to Black Actors....

Denzel Washington-- Best Actor-- Played a corrupt cop
Halle Berry-- Best Actress-- Got f**ked by Billy Bob Thornton, buck ass naked

I am noticing a disturbing trend here...

Not that the Academy is all bad or anything. They did give awards to African American actors for playing roles other than being a "unsavory" character but still...

Three-6 Mafia wins the Academy Award for Best Original Song: "Its Hard Out There for a Pimp"....I have lost all respect for the Academy, dammit.


LadyCelticFire said...

WOW and Thanks Choc. I am a white girl up here in Portland and I remember how happy I was when she won and I was honestly thrilled when a rap song won last night. But yeah as a cracker, I guess I missed seeing it from your point of view.

I haven't seen Hustle and Flow yet, but I want to BADLY. I have however, seen Terence and Ludacris in Crash WOW. I think this is exactly what we ALL need. To hear BOTH sides.

I think of myself as someone who fights for ALL the underdogs, whether they be black white pink or green. But I can't know what it is like to be black in America today. I thank you for your honesty and your point of view. You helped me see things in a new light.

Maybe someday we will get to a point where it won't be about race, but simply whether we are good people. Hope to see you there :D

Alex said...

I don't particularly like rap but my reasons for totally disagrreing with this song winning was that it was, simply put, a horrible song. By any standards.
I like your take on the Academy and it's treatment of black actors and what they get awarded for.

Like your blog, will definitely be back for more.