by Yvette Carnell
After Will Smith’s comments supporting his wife Jada’s decision not to attend the Oscars, I keep hearing people say we should have “our own” Oscars. That just underscores for me how much black people don’t understand about our class status in this country.
How are we going to have our own Oscars when we don’t have our own blockbusters? How are we going to put on our own Oscars when we don’t own a Dreamworks, MGM, Lions Gate, Viacom, Weinstein Company, 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Co., Sony or Time Warner? Riddle me that Batman? Oprah Winfrey’s a billionaire but ‘The Butler’ was still produced by The Weinstein Co., so what does that tell you about all that ‘black wealth’ you all obsess over? And how are we going to celebrate the arts when 30% of black children live in poverty? We can’t even afford to feed ourselves and you want to talk to me about having our own Oscars?
Furthermore, the celebration of art is generally geared toward a Leisure Class of people who have enough free time (and money) to sip champagne and contemplate brush strokes. Many of these folks in Hollywood have family members who’ve worked in cinema or art. Meanwhile, your hood is being gutted by austerity and those art programs up and left a long time ago.
Black People Don’t Own a Sony, MGM, or Lion’s Gate, So No, We Can’t Have “Our Own” OscarsClick to tweet
The Oscars is a representation of CLASS in this country. Will and Jada can show up or stay home. It doesn’t matter either way, because they don’t OWN any of it. They don’t own any of what they’re fighting over. The best they’ll ever do is show up in movies that white people finance. And you get nominated twice for an Oscar, Will Smith, and this is how you react? The blowback to this will be fierce, I’m sure. Sony heads were already making racist jokes, and now you wanna go mess with their big party? Good luck with that and Godspeed.