The Oscars: This Isn’t The Movies, This Is Real Life Edition

There was nothing Cinderella about the Oscars last night.Okay, except for the dresses. And if you think it was all black and white like Chris Rock’s suit, you are lying to yourself.

It was a good night. It was a necessary night.

Chris Rock Needs To Come To My Cocktail Party:

Blunt. That’s how the night started.

Chris Rock gave a speech that wasn’t about our boobs. It wasn’t approved by Emily Post. He literally put everything on the table.

And he created a show that was as diverse as I have ever seen it.

I mean he brought Asians on stage. Kids. Latinas. African-Americans. Anglo-Saxons.

He brought the rainbow. And he spoke about it, too.

He called out the people who protested the Oscars and said that Jada Pickett Smith protesting is like him protesting Rihanna’s underwear. It’s not called for.

It’s like me voting Republican in Illinois.

But, to say that her video and her movement didn’t do anything, would be a lie. No, we didn’t miss the Smith’s at the Oscars, but we know that they weren’t there. And they were an important piece in the Oscars diversity call to action (which is still TBD).

While I will mention Chris Rock’s Oscar speech throughout this post, I think it’s important to realize that it was about black and white, but it was also about women.

Stacey Dash is Not Clueless:

In what is being called as a “WTF Speech,” Stacey Dash went on stage for maybe 15 seconds to wish everyone a happy Black History Month.

USA Today spoke with Stacey Dash about her controversial appearance.

“Which brings me to the joke. When they added ME to increase the diversity, I’m sure many black people rolled their eyes. I’m not ‘black enough,’ they say. But guess what? I’ve heard that all my life. I would rather be a free thinking, black than a cookie cutter black who thinks – and votes – just like all my friends,” Dash said.

Stacey Dash’s speech was awkward. It was unexpected. But, as Chris Rock does, he brought out all of the elephants in the room. And, Ms. Stacey Dash is a big elephant. Stacey Dash made a statement in an interview that we shouldn’t have a black history month and eliminate stations like BET, which she has appeared on.

But you know what —Chris brought up the same thing at the Oscars, calling out the men’s and women’s categories that we have at the Oscars.

Everyone always thinks that we should side with their point of view. Tax the rich. Don’t trust people who are funded by big businesses.

But, if we are going to make progress, we need to welcome different points of view.

Donald Trump is still in the running for President. Stacey Dash is still successful.

The way I see it, there are very successful black people. There are very successful white people. There are very successful democrats. There are very successful republicans. We can all learn from each other.

But I will say, that after hearing Chris Rock’s perspective, it we didn’t have male and female categories, award shows would start to look like “Where’s Waldo?” with all the men dressed in the same suit. Would we forget about women? Do we need a black category for the Oscars? Is it okay to separate by sex, but not by race?

Questioning why we do things and having these conversations are important. And Stacey Dash was a brief—though an important part of the Oscars.

Michael B. Jordan Was Not Amused:

I mean if you are going to be on stage with the gorgeous Rachel McAdams, and be all brooding and serious, it’s a sad day. Fans alike tweeted their love for Michael B. Jordan. And, I do think he did a phenomenal job in Creed, but there were A LOT of good movies in 2015 aka Mad Max: Fury Road and Straight Out of Compton and Trainwreck

Seriously, I watched more movies at the theater this year since I was in high school when that was the only thing to do. As my friend pointed out, the best movies just happened to have white actors.

Now, Chris Rock also brought up the point that Jaime Foxx is an amazing actor. Do these amazing black actors have the same opportunities as white actors? Do women have the same opportunities as men?

Nope. In the words of Chris Rock, Hollywood is “sorority racist.”

Lady Gaga: I Cried:

This was the part of the night where I dropped my Pinot Noir, and my friend brought me ice cream.

There were the musical performances of the night and they were all better than The Grammys. But the most powerful was Lady Gaga’s Oscar performance. Her Oscars performance only furthered the agenda of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.

When Vice President Joe Biden came on stage, the whole theater erupted with applause. Biden  encouraged others to think about consent in America and visit itsonus.org.

And then Lady Gaga, probably the goddess of the musical world, sat at her piano in all white and sang “Til It Happens To You.”

Stop what you are doing and watch Lady Gaga perform at the Oscars.

The media reacted, and basically everyone cried, especially when survivors joined Lady Gaga on stage.

This was such a timely topic as people wonder about Bill Cosby and if all 41 women who came forward were really all telling the truth.

Lady Gaga didn’t win an Oscar that night, but she did win our respect, not just for her, but for victims of sexual assault.

Troop Beverley Hills Showed Up With Their Father:

And just when you thought you saw all types of diversity, Chris Rock had more in store for us. He brought out his daughter’s Girl Scout troop in one of the biggest fundraising events for Girl Scouts.

I swear they need to make bigger clutches for award shows for the snack bar.

So, Chris Rock not only knows how to talk social issues, but he also had people support one of the largest organizations for girls.

In one night, this Girl Scout troop raised $65, 243.00, which is double, maybe triple a writer’s salary.

It was a double layer of diversity because he’s a man, a father helping his daughter. It was a welcomed role reversal.

Men Need To Champion Women:

In what the Huffington Post called “one of the most powerful speeches of the Oscars,” Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy said that “men need to champion women.”

I hear this a lot in women’s organizations—we need the people in power (i.e. men) to care about our cause for real change to occur.
A women’s advocacy group is not going to go far without men. It’s the same for an all black group. Or an all latina group. Diversity brings change.

This was especially powerful to me because I just saw Chiraq. And in that parody, women say if there is no peace, then they won’t sleep with men. I told my friend this and he said, it wouldn’t work because men make more money and have more power than women.

Leo: We Never Let You Go:

Leo  won for his role in The Revenant. We are still giving him a standing ovation.

Leo followed the night’s theme in bringing light to social, political, and,  in this case, environmental issues. The world is melting and maybe year-round summer is not a good look.

Leo had one of the best speeches, where he didn’t just thank his parents, but he humbly accepted his award,”Let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take tonight for granted. Thank you so very much.”

“Let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take tonight for granted. Thank you so very much.”

Make Your Oscars Acceptance Speech on Social Media:

But overall, actors wanted to make a change now  rather than getting the role for the next rape in America or civil rights documentary.

And if we are all talking about how to make a difference, it’s by using out first amendment rights — speaking or not speaking.

Brie Larson during her acceptance speech for the Room, she thanked movie goers and film festivals like the Toronto Film Festival because that is how the movie was put on the map.

And I think, that’s what’s so important to remember. You have a voice. A very powerful voice.  And as the logo for The Chicago Community Trust says, “What You Do Matters.”

If we want the fairy tale ending, we need to start having open conversations now. Writing this post was hard because I do view the world differently. And I know people feel way differently about racism, politics, and women’s rights than I do.

But, all my life I have been silent. And I’m never going to live in the world I want to live in or feel comfortable in this world if my lips are sealed.

So, please, think about what you just saw, and form an opinion. And then make them heard on social media, through dinner conversations, at events.

Overall, I loved the Oscars. I think it accomplished what it’s supposed to do, make me want to see good movies. I want to see Brooklyn, but just like The Lord of the Rings, I’m never going to see Mad Max: Fury Road.

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