This year’s Oscars should be co-hosted by Wanda Sykes, Tiffany Haddish and Viola Davis. Wit, class, diversity and what the Motion Picture Academy most seems to be looking for – an expansion of its viewing audience.
That’s industry parlance for higher ratings
I partly suggest this because I am so sick of men. That’s quite a statement coming from a gay guy, but, trust me it’s true. If I didn’t already have a husband I’d be taking a break.
After the Electoral College POTUS, Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Kevin Spacey and Les Moonves of it all we get…Kevin Hart as THE choice to host the annual TV show that gets the biggest ratings of the year? Well, among the biggest ratings these days because that number has rapidly been decreasing, among so many numbers for network television.
Still, this pick (rescinded two days later) says so much about the entertainment industry – in this case quite an apt stand-in for our immediate world – and its ability to perceive what’s going on in the zeitgeist.
That’s Chair parlance for reality.
Let’s be clear – I don’t want to get rid of all men, or shall I say, all straight men. Some of my best friends are…
I’m only advocating we, well… try to take a look around and through, inside and out, and up and over.
Kevin Hart. If you want the full details of his tweets, have at it here.
But here’s a quick summary. He’s admitted to being physically violent with his wife, even spent a night in jail for it. There was also a sex tape of him cheating on her when she was eight months pregnant but let’s put that to the side because, well, who doesn’t cheat on their pregnant wife?
Mr. Hart has joked more than once that if he caught his son playing with a doll house it would mean he was gay and he’d hit him over the head with it and say, stop it, that’s gay. In fact, that’s gay or that’s so gay seems like it was his go-to twitter insult from, ok…2007-2011. He even made an AIDS joke about Damien Wayans back then, saying his social media pic looked like a gay billboard for AIDS.
Explaining himself in a 2015 Rolling Stone interview, Mr. Hart said he wouldn’t do those jokes anymore because, the times, when I said it, weren’t as sensitive as they are now.
See…this is the crux of the problem
For some people, the times only become sensitive when they get caught or called out for their… stuff. Or as All in the Family’s Archie Bunker once eloquently stated nationwide on CBS –TV in the early 1970s:
She (Eleanor Roosevelt) was the one who discovered the coloreds in this country. We never knew they was there!
When you talk crap so publicly so often and gain any sort of success or profile (Note: Or even if you are unknown and just say it too loud or to the wrong person) you get held accountable for your actions these days.
On the same token, when YOU are the one to bring up what someone said and challenge them on it it’s likely you will get called out in some corners for being the PC police. That pejorative is sort of like the alt-middle version of fake news but without the knee-jerk mass revulsion now finally beginning to be associated with Trumpism.
Yet, when we face the issue, we can see how one is the outgrowth of the other.
When someone tells you — Racism, sexism, homophobia – we just weren’t aware of this stuff pre 1960’s. It was a different time – you can answer : Yeah, you did and well, sure it was. What was different is that people didn’t make fun en masse about your minority group because you won the genetic lottery ticket of the moment that excluded you from marginalization. (Note: Or you were in the majority).
So, big congrats on that.
To which they might answer:
But before we complain and lament about oversensitivity and political correctness – can’t we joke about anything, anymore???
To which you reply: Okay, but let’s look at what’s being asked for. All that’s being asked for is – a look.
I got called out on social media this week by one woman who wrote that as a Jewish person she’s heard many celebrities go on anti-Semitic rants, including members of the LGBTQ community and that SHE never asked that they not work.
Well, no one is saying Kevin Hart should never work. I mean, I’m not hiring him but, hey… knock yourself out, he’s a movie star…ish. He’s just not the right host for the Oscars. Would you want Mel Gibson hosting the Oscars, lady???
Not to mention, you HAVE to know I’m Jewish. Who else but a Jewish gay man from New York with the insatiable need to always have the last word would ever take the time to answer you back so incessantly, Ms. Laurie Freedman Fannin?!
Oh yes, that is her real name. Look her up on Facebook. Especially if you agree with me. Please.
The real point is, any of the above-mentioned information about Mr. Hart, et. al was available to the Academy through a quick Google search weeks, months and years before they made that choice. You can be edgy, more than edgy, and still proceed with due diligence and basic consideration.
This is how we get to Wanda Sykes, Tiffany Haddish and Viola Davis.
All women in the #MeToo era.
All people of color in a year when Black Panther and BlackkKlansman seem like sure bet nominees (and perhaps winners in multiple categories).
Wanda Sykes – One of the best standups in the country who happens to be an out lesbian, thus satisfying the mantra of trying to get a comedian host and knowing there are also multiple LGBTQ themed films that will receive nominations.
Viola Davis – A past Oscar WINNER (Fences) and multi-nominee (The Help, Doubt) who has had a hit show, How to Get Away With Murder, on ABC (the network that also broadcasts the Oscars) for the past five years.
Tiffany Haddish – A younger comic actress who WON the prestigious New York Film Critics award last year for a breakout performance (Girl’s Trip) and now STARS in her own movies. In fact, her latest is the current box-office hit, Night School, where she gets to beat the crap out of Kevin Hart!
Heck knows, I’m not that smart. I just put in a tiny bit of thought on the matter and used The Google.
You’d think the Academy would do the same. Or would you?