And the Awkward Turtle Goes To...
|Amy Widdowson||Feb 29, 2016|
Welcome to the Missive, holy crap Oscar edition. Let me set some expectations: in my family, watching the Oscars is like watching the Super Bowl for most families: we watch it together, eat a tons of snacks, yell at the TV, maybe cry a little, and then do it all again the next year. Every year. As in, I distinctly asking my Mum if I could watch Silence of the Lambs because there was NO WAY IT WAS BETTER THAN BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. I didn’t understand how silent lambs could be more entertaining than Lumiere’s burlesque number, but I also hadn’t quite grasped metaphors yet. Obviously we can't discuss everything that went down... Having missed the beginning of last nights show to go to yoga because my sanity is worth more to me than red carpet commentary, imagine my delight when I logged on to Twitter, caught up on the already-posted playback, and proceeded to wade into the most uncomfortable television in history. As friend of the missive Haley described: “Awkward Turtle won about 50 Oscars tonight." Why the withering discomfort? Well, a little thing called over-compensation that surrounded genuine anger and actual political acts. The controversy around the *complete lack* of people of color in the acting category, followed by many awkward numerous awkward white reactions to said backlash - Charlotte Rampling, just stop - led the show producers to do everything they could to counter-balance, starting with the red carpet pre-show. As Haley observed: "This Oscars is the 3 hour equivalent of "I totally have black friends". They keep asking the whitest people about it.” And then Chris Rock got up there and completely flipped the mirror on this faux-fixing, which OF COURSE he was going to do in this situation. He turned the opening monologue, normally a 10-minute-long chance for the host to wear wacky costumes, or digitally insert themselves into the nominated films, or introduce two women who had probably already met, into a scathing indictment of Hollywood’s diversity problems. And hoo boy, was the crowd uncomfortable. The first few jokes landed solidly, as I imagine the crowd thought this was the way Rock would acknowledge the issue and release the tension, moving on to glad-handing and audience reaction shots. But oh no. Rock’s monologue did not let up, including lines like "You know, when your grandmother’s swinging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about best documentary foreign short” and "I’m like, “Mr. President, you see all these writers and producers and actors? They don’t hire black people, and they’re the nicest, white people on earth! They’re liberals! Cheese!”” and "Hollywood is sorority racist.” And you could hear the laughter and clapping quiet down to a stony silence, as Rock pushed on, giddy and astonished that this was actually going down. I absolutely loved it. So that’s how the whole thing got started. Google "Chris Rock Monologue” and marvel at the lack of hot takes, only transcripts. Just read up on the whole thing. Spend all morning doing it.
And tune in tomorrow when we discuss how Donald Trump refuses to condemn a former grand wizard of the KKK, because of course that’s happening.