Recently, Stacey Dash’s comments in regards to the #OscarsSoWhite controversy caused a media fire storm. It made me wonder, what would’ve happened if Oprah shared similar sentiments? Or, if Jada Pinkett Smith would’ve stayed on point with her typical spiritual influence and considered the expansive picture, not the looking-through-a-keyhole version? Would the drama surrounding this year’s Oscars be as inflamed?
I’ll be the first to admit that I have no idea what the Academy sees when it judges each category. My guess is, it’s not like blind auditions on The Voice where all they hear is the performance. I do wonder, though, in the category of best screenplay, did the Academy really know that the writers for that brilliant black story, Straight Outta Compton, were white?
Even as I type this, I’m struggling to use the words white and black in a manner of division and labeling. Why? Because if you follow the concepts that Oprah shares on Super Soul Sunday, and listen to Will Smith’s typical enlightened approach in interviews, you know these simple truths.
1) For there to be real change, you must let go of your story. Stop the endless patterning of thinking and doing the same thing over and over again because….
2) The past is in the past. You can’t go back and change it. Learn from it, release the emotion attached to it, and move on. If you don’t, you just keep dragging it into the future because….
3) Your thoughts create your reality.
Thus, if you keep fueling the negative story lines, no matter what the story, you’re not only fanning the flames, you’re sustaining the blaze.
Hopefully not only the Academy, but Hollywood as a whole, will consider Gena Davis’ message from the inaugural Women in Entertainment Summit – Hollywood needs to address their unconscious bias of race, age and gender type by making conscious choices that will put them at the forefront of the shift in diversity.
That said, it doesn’t mean that everyone deserves to be nominated, or even cast for that matter. I’m not talking about handing out participation trophies here.
What I am talking about is my wish that when Chris Rock hosts the Oscars, he rises above the drama and, instead of shaming the Academy, Stacey Dash, Jada Pinkett Smith, or anyone else with an opinion on the matter, he chooses to remove his mask. When it comes right down to it, we are all equal. We are all one. We are all love. And LOVE has no labels. End of story.