After the 2016 OscarsSoWhite hashtag caused Hollywood to feel a tinge of regret during their evening of self-adulation, the Academy coincidentally nominated a record six black actors and actresses for the 2017 edition. The L.A. Times ran a headline about diversity being back while the N.Y. Times promoted an infographic on the history of black Oscar nominations. Nobody understands the ins and outs of racism like people who immerse themselves in the pain of removing the blot from their caucasoid stained ancestry.
If you made an African-American themed drama this year, you got in. There isn’t enough collective guilt pent up yet to keep La La Land from sweeping the eventual awards, because super white people dancing to Golden Era Hollywood music is what’s inside the Ark of the Covenant. But the Academy will dole out awards that are now rendered largely meaningless thanks to their very public bow to political and social influence. Imagine a life where you base your objective decisions off of whimsical sentiment and superficial acceptance. So, a teenage girl. Or the opposite of what Dr. King dreamed of in betwixt plowing the groupies.
Hollywood is an anxious dog chasing its own tail. There is no chance for getting it right when your goals are an amorphous set of feelings driven by collective angst and peer pressure. Kimmel’s still worth watching as a host. After that, expect ten more attempts to out-Streep Streep on re-imagining diversity as rich people in Hollywood having been born in all different kinds of places.