Tue. Jul 16th, 2019

The Oscars reward black creators with a record | Culture

The Oscars reward black creators with a record | Culture

There were almost no words to remember. At the end of the day, the protest discourses had already accumulated in recent years. And, nevertheless, the results were still missing. So this time the Oscar they chose the language of the events: the 91st edition of the awards awarded seven black creators, in six categories, the new record in the history of the ceremony. The previous brand belonged to 2017, with four statuettes. Between that gala and that of this Sunday, a constant: Mahershala Ali, awarded in both cases as best supporting actor. By Moonlight, then, and Green Book now.

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The awards tried to move away the ghost of #OscarSoWhite, the mobilization that criticized the Academy and its awards during the two years in a row (2015 and 2016) in which there was not a single black actor nominated in the four categories of interpretation. And they reconciled, in step, with Spike Lee: in those years, the filmmaker led along with Will Smith a boycott of the gala, accused of not seeing beyond the target. Last night, on the other hand, Lee took the recognition to the best adapted screenplay. From the stage, he recalled that it was just 400 years since February 24, 1619, when his "ancestors" were kidnapped and handcuffed in Africa and dragged to Virginia. to be slaves.

The other Oscars awarded Regina King (best supporting actress for The blues of Beale Street), Ruth E. Carter (first black to win the prize for the best costumes, Black Panther), Hannah Beachler (production design, by Black Panther), Kevin Willmott (awarded along with Lee) and Peter Ramsey (best animated film by Spiderman: a new universe). Neither had finished the gala and several US media already celebrated the advance of "black talent". Until this Sunday, excluding the categories of the actresses, only one African-American creator had obtained an Oscar. The 91st gala added two more.

The truth is that this is the year also in which more African Americans have occupied leading roles in movies in more than a decade, according to a study by the University of Southern California, which collects this data since 2007. From 13% at that time, to 28% today. However, the numbers also tell another reality: there were 15 black creators among the 212 nominees in this edition of the Oscars. That is, 7%, well below 13.2% of the population which they represent in the USA. So maybe it's early for the songs of glory. History has shown that the Hollywood industry knows how to shout a lot before a microphone. Another thing, however, is that you listen to your own words.


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