Should we really boycott these Oscars?

2016-01-31 02:05

Not a single black actor was nominated for the Academy Awards (Oscars) this year. There’s been much controversy over this. Some, including Will Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett, have called for the boycott of the occasion – that will take place on the 28th of February 2016. They judge the Academy racist for the lack of racial diversity in this year’s nominees.

Over the past weeks, we have been asked to boycott the event and not watch it. As I read more and more about this controversy, I asked myself “Should I really boycott this event? And is the Academy really being racist?” Because if it is indeed racist, then it is appropriate to boycott the awards. I think.

But before we decide on such things, we should give ourselves time to think first and assess the situation.

I decided to do a little research, by research I mean ‘Googling’, on the history of the Academy Awards and African Americans. Well, it turns out African Americans have been nominated before, and have won numerous times. That alone, to me, suggests the Academy isn’t racist. Its objective is to nominate outstanding performers. If it happens that there aren’t black actors on the list of the nominees in a particular year, that shouldn’t be surprising.

Especially given the fact that African Americans account for 13% of America’s population. So when you look at black nominations and winnings over the course of the Academy’s history; it becomes fair to say that African Americans have been well represented at the Awards. But you can only come to this conclusion if you stop and think.

Whoopi Goldberg did admit that the Academy may not be that racist because she did receive the award for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1991. She’s not the only black actor to have won, there have been many others.

What Will Smith and his wife should accept, is that black actors didn’t do well this year. They weren’t good enough to make it to the nomination list. And if none of them deserve an award then that’s it. The Academy should not nominate blacks for the purposes of racial diversity. No it should not. Blacks should appear on the nomination list only if they deserve to be there, not because of their race.

It got worse when Britain’s Sir Ian McKellen weighed in on the controversy. McKellen went as far as saying that it’s much bigger than race - it’s also homophobia. He said that not a single openly gay man has ever won the Oscar award.

How many openly gay Hollywood actors do you know? Just take a minute and think about them. And then ask yourself: Should they be nominated because they are gay, or because of their performance?

The idea that we should look for black and gay actors for the purposes of diversity, instead of looking for best performers is preposterous. I guess then the next step will be to look for albino actors, and disabled actors, add them to the list, just for the purposes of diversity. Performance assessment will be off the checklist, as long as we have racial or ethnic diversity amongst the nominees, that should be enough. Are we being serious?

I personally think it’s not a bad thing that at times, in a competitive Hollywood film industry, there aren’t blacks nominated for the awards. Because when they do get nominated and win, we’ll know that they won because they deserved to win. Not because they are black.

It is this thinking that continues to ruin our world. As we speak, the Academy is being pressured to transform. Transform what? To me it all seems fine.

Chris Rock, who will be hosting awards has been asked to call out racism in the Academy. I hope he will not do that.

In my writings, I have always said that where racism manifests itself, we should point it out. But it seems to me anything we see with a naked eye is racist these days. We don’t give ourselves time to think.

Thomas Sowell of the Hoover Institute, and author of a new book, Wealth, Poverty and Politics, was correct when he said “The word ‘racism’ is like ketchup. It can be put on practically anything – and demanding evidence makes you ‘racist’”.

So no to Will and Jada, I do not think we should boycott February’s Academy Awards. I’ll watch. Will and Jada can boycott the occasion if they so wish. Their followers can rally behind them. I won’t, and I hope you won’t too.

News24 Voices Terms & Conditions.


AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.