O&E

I am an actor and I don’t watch the Academy Awards

by Andreya Martinez

Oscars? More like overrated, am I right? Don’t get me wrong, as an actor, I want one. I want nothing more than to win one, float on stage with ease and grace, get emotional and flustered, forget to thank someone and have the “get off the stage” music play me out. It will be a momentous day, and I expect every single one of my friends and family to tune in and watch. However, watching a bunch of overpaid starlets get boozed up and awarded for movies is something I don’t care to watch. It just doesn’t make my to-do list.

Mistake me not. It is a great honor that people work hard for, but there are countless other people who work even harder to make a movie great enough to even be considered for an Academy Award.  Do you think Olivia Colman could have won the Oscar for Lead Actress in “The Favourite” last year if every single production assistant, costumer, editor, camera person and hair and make-up artist didn’t put in their all? You might be asking, “Andreya, if you don’t watch the Oscars, how did you know that?” Well, I Googled it!

And yes, there are awards for technicians as well, but does anyone outside the immediate world of those careers care? Probably not. The only thing I would attempt to care about, if I did at all, would be Best Picture, Lead Actor and Lead Actress (plus anything that Lin-Manuel Miranda is nominated for), and I imagine that there are many more like me.

Don’t even get me started on the whiteness. There is a high outrage for culture and ethnic snubbing in this awards ceremony. The Academy Awards aren’t the only ones to blame for this, but they are currently on the chopping block.

Refrain from misunderstanding. There was an upswing in diversified nominees and winners in previous decades. “There were more black acting nominees in the past 25 years (39 nominees) than in all 63 years of the Oscars before then (26 nominees),” according to a 2016 article written by The Washington Post. “Eleven black actors have won the statuette since 1991, compared with four before.” That is all well and good, but what about everyone else?

It isn’t entirely the fault of the Academy. It is only following the trend that has been set in place by the entertainment industry for almost a century. This just goes into the systemic racism of our society and the ethnic erasure that has been going on for centuries. We can’t rely on the Oscars to fix that, but we sure can work to make them better with more inclusion for all genders and ethnicities.

It is time to start thinking outside the box and including everyone because I guarantee there will be many more kick-ass things to watch and love if we just gave other different-colored humans a chance. There is a reason that we started Americanizing other countries’ cuisines — because they are delicious. No one wants to live off of hotdogs and PB&J. Can’t we do the same for our entertainment industry? 

The “whiteness” of the Oscars doesn’t make me not want to watch. I just don’t care, and until I am actively a part of the industry, I will probably continue to not care.

The one time I began to pay attention to the Oscars was when there was a huge internet outrage for Leonardo DiCaprio because he had never won one. That hype finally died in 2016 when he won for that bear movie I also didn’t see, and I have ceased to care about it since.

I’d honestly just rather watch the Tony Awards. At least with the Tonys I have actual entertainment and get to see musical numbers from Broadway shows that I can’t afford to see. As quoted by actress, producer, songwriter and all-around funny person Rachel Bloom in her song “Who Wants To Watch The Tony Awards This Year”, “It’s like The Oscars if the actors had talent. It’s kind of like that, only so much better.”

It’s not that they’re bad. It is just that the Hollywood glamor never really enthralled me. I want to work hard, make things I am proud of and just do what I love, and if I can play the game and get recognized by some old, crotchety white guys so I can have a really cool statue and bragging rights forever, I’ll take it.

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