Leo Finally Wins, But What About Us?

Leo+Finally+Wins%2C+But+What+About+Us%3F

Column by Christian Clark
clarkchr@grinnell.edu

Christian Clark - JaeEun Oh

Damn Grinnellians, welcome to the Oscars Edition of the Hot Room. So, I can already feel the great expectation falling down on me. Pay close attention to the title, my beautiful readers. This column will not be me thanking the Academy for recognizing Leonardo DiCaprio after 22 years. Instead, I’ll focus on why #OscarsSoWhite is #SoReal and why everyone needs to stop pampering DiCaprio and shitting on Will Smith or any other actor of color. I’ll also talk about the most awkward moment in the history of the Academy Awards: Stacey Dash grasping for relevance but not understanding that we have moved on from her. I’ll lastly sneak in a little blurb about the whole Beyoncé vs. Rihanna debate. (I have a preference, but I’ll leave my bias behind and fight facts with facts because hoes lie, numbers don’t.)

Okay, so the talk of Hollywood has been about DiCaprio finally being recognized by the Academy. Just a few weeks ago, we were arguing about the severe lack of diversity for this year’s nominees. First, I’ll tell you why the conversation about DiCaprio’s status as an Academy Award Winning Actor is a slap in the face to all Black, Latino/a, Asian, Indian, etc. actors and actresses. We all know the argument made by Jada Pinkett-Smith about the lack of diversity at the Oscars this year, right? Well, if you don’t, she put the Academy on blast for releasing an all-White nominee list. An event that should be celebrating all actors and actresses became an exclusive event to celebrate White people. The main argument posed against Pinkett-Smith and all other people of color (POC) who stood with her was that maybe POC were not good enough or qualified enough this year. This was the ultimate slap in the face and I called bullshit.

So, what does Fox News do best? They go and find any way to discredit Black movements. Introducing Dash as the Black representative who will “tell it like it is” and set her people straight. In the meantime, everyone is yelling that DiCaprio has to be nominated and awarded an Oscar. Which basically equated to, as Bette Midler put it, ‘the show where DiCaprio is overdue and POC can wait until next year.’

While they shouted so viciously that POC just were not that good, no one questioned that maybe DiCaprio was not that good of an actor which would explain his lack of an Oscar until last Sunday. That never crossed anyone’s minds because they were too busy worshipping a very lackluster White actor. Once again, I call bullshit and would like for this “post-racial society” to be filed as denied and thrown in the trash. Now, Dash added unnecessary fuel to the fire by being Fox News’s Black puppet. She walked on stage during the ceremonies, smiled, said “Happy Black History Month” after denouncing it and saying it was promoting segregation, and left the stage. During that entire bullshit-ass skit, the entire room was silent, which is where I would like to applaud the White nominees. You recognized ignorance. I love it. Anyway, she is drastically irrelevant and it actually kind of hurts. I wish she had not embarrassed herself. It was not funny and was just boring. She’s boring, end of story. Moving along to more interesting “news.”

If you had one ticket to go see one artist, would you go see Beyoncé or Rihanna? This has been much of the debate this entire week surrounding the releases of “Work” and “Formation.” This severe pettiness began when Rihanna liked a tweet seemingly dissing Beyoncé. The Beyhive (Beyoncé’s super fans) began to comment bees on Rihanna’s Instagram posts and tweeted about Beyoncé being better. Now, let’s see the numbers. Rihanna has sold a combined 238 million records, making her the second most successful female artist in history, only behind Madonna by about 70 million. Beyoncé has sold about 180 million records as a solo artist. Rihanna has recently earned her 14th number one single on the Billboard 100, while Beyoncé has five number one singles. Beyoncé has won 21 Grammy Awards, while Rihanna has eight. So I ask, who would you prefer?

Thanks for joining me in this special edition of the Hot Room. See you next time and continue to dab in peace!