Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Black and Gold and Reality

Navigating through new technology that arrived on the marketplace during my treatment has left me to ponder Black folks and the little gold man named Oscar.#thebestandthewhitest

Will a Black man or woman win one of these for playing a doctor, lawyer or teacher in ANY film release?  If so, will it be a major or supporting character?  Will I live to see this?  Or will I be alive but too old to understand what is going on?

Of course, the main talk on the Black blogs this weekend is the passing of VH1 reality star Ahmad Givens and MO Nique's being blacklisted by Hollywood after getting her gold statue.  Some say she's wrong for not playing ball, while others want to blame Oprah or Lee Daniels for not defending her.  I'm with the group that says the system is flawed but it may be too late to change.

As a lover of blaxploitation films, I wish that Vonetta McGee, Rosalind Cash, or Thalmus Rasulala had received Oscar nominations before transitioning.  There may have been other quality performances during that period but one has to admit that this period gave many decent actors exposure.  But the timing was perfect for change.  It was after the Civil Rights era and the majority of these films made money - whether the actor was bad or good.

Which brings me to 2015.  A wild mix of bad and good Black actors are making damn good money for studios and there are more independent Black filmmakers who are moving around the system.  Some are even successful.  So why MO Nique get respect?  Here are some facts:
  • Many who promote a brand usually do so on their dime, then wait for the returns.  Hollywood is no different than any other industry in that respect.
  • Blacks always have to go the extra mile to prove they mean business.  Even when I worked in the clerical pool, people underestimated my skills before reading test scores or watching me in action.  So think about doctors and professionals in corporate America.  Sad but true.
  • Reality shows are doing a number on how America sees Blacks.  While people either love or hate NeNe, the large number of reality shows that show Blacks partciipating in gratuitous violence, blatant ignorance, or sexual promiscuity seems to be never-ending.  Many actors have complained that studios make serious money because the talent is cheap and the more outrageous, the more popular.  Question is, who really pays in the end?  I'm forecasting a Bamboozled moment when somebody is going to go off and it won't be pretty.
Here's my opinion -
  • MO Nique's husband is killing her career and here's one first-person account about Mr. MO Nique.
  • MO Nique was never that great of an actress.  Can you say The Parkers?
  • Monique (as she humbles) may want to look into a second career.  She's looking better these days so maybe a reinvention as a former big girl approaching middle age who got healthy and can help others do the same.  Maybe a cosmetic line.  Whatever the venture, leave the husband ou of it.

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