The Oscars opened with a joke regarding its lack of diversity. The hash tag, #OscarsSoWhite was created to draw attention to the lack of minority nominees; this year was stated to be the worst year for diversity since 1998. Since the beginning, there have been a total of 2,947 Oscars given out and only 31 of those were given to women and men of color. The hashtag has created a platform for people to take a stance against the harsh realities of the entertainment business. So why is it funny?
EXACTLY. It Isn’t.
Black people have been protesting the viewing of the Oscars to stop the laughter and bring to surface a sensitive issue that matters in an era that’s already has trouble swallowing the fact that #BlackLivesMatter. What’s currently happening is that social media is working against this social justice stance of my black and white counterparts, and working in support of those who find the issue funny.
Those who are protesting the Oscars and those that view the concentration of whiteness in the crowd as a laughing matter are using the exact same hashtag. Upon researching the hashtag, myself, via twitter I found a mix of comical and upset remarks preceding #OscarsSoWhite. The issue is that there is no way to separate the two sides of the argument, by data, to analyze the severity of the issue.
Now, it is time for journalists to take the forefront on this battle. They need an explanation, a reason to understand why mass amounts of black people don’t find the concentration of whiteness for an entertainment awards recognition funny.
In a society that idealizes a post-racial culture more often than it supports one – the issue is not a joking matter; America has proven us all of that.