The Academy Awards, where in olden days they would at least have the common sense and courtesy to “leave well enough alone.” We all know the Oscars are very, very white. Hollywood is not diverse — we got that!
Academy Awards producers did not do themselves any favors, nor will they get any points from minorities, by performing one bad black skit after another to appease African-Americans Sunday night. First of all, it's not just "blacks" that Hollywood fails to fairly or properly represent. Also, admitting to a prejudice while continuing to perpetuate it is no virtue.
One other thing, please get over your infatuation with the British. Brits are wonderful people with really cool accents who hail from my favorite place in the entire world to visit ... but enough is enough.
- Rick Sanchez
Note to Hollywood: You want to fix your serious diversity issue? Just look around and see what America looks like — see what we look like today, not 40 years ago. You see that? Good. Now, follow it up by portraying our stories, our movies, and our country — using writers, producers, designers and actors who represent and understand the new American mainstream. They are Black, White, Latino, Asian, Southern — they are all types of people with one thing in common. They are all American.
One other thing, please get over your infatuation with the British. Brits are wonderful people with really cool accents who hail from my favorite place in the entire world to visit – so much so that my wife and I chose it for our honeymoon – but enough is enough. American cinema should represent more than just white non-Hispanics and people with British accents.
Watching the awards last night, my daughter asked, “Daddy, do acceptance speeches have to be read with a British accent?” Seems that way doesn’t it?
Then again, when roles for American icons like Martin Luther King Jr., Coretta Scott King, President Lyndon Baines Johnson and George Wallace are filled by English actors, what do you expect?
"Selma" was a movie about American racial tensions and the civil rights movement, which occurred in 1965. Yet, David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tom Wilkinson and Tim Roth, who all share the distinction of hailing from Great Britain, where chosen for its lead roles. By the way, the same exact thing occurred in 2014 with the best picture winner, "12 Years a Slave," a movie where the majority of the lead roles went to British actors.
It happens time and time again. Englishman David Fincher selected English actress Rosamund Pike to play Amy in "Gone Girl." In Angelina Jolie’s "Unbroken," the Englishman Jack O’Connell plays the American hero. And what do you do when you can’t find an Englishman? Apparently, you look for another foreign actor. In "Fifty Shades," the lead role was originally given to Charlie Hunnam, an Englishman. But when he dropped out, Jamie Dornan, an Irishman, quickly replaced him.
Neither I, nor anybody else is asking for any type of litmus test or quota to exclude one group at the expense of others. The only request of Hollywood is fairness and the work ethic necessary to look beyond what’s easy and comfortable. It’s pretty simple, Hollywood: hire and cast people who best represent how America looks and thinks — not how you look and think!
Then and only then, will you save yourself the self-perpetuated damage done by other once great American media industries. Broadcast news was once a true beacon of credibility, with trustworthiness measuring as high as 80 percent; today barely two in 10 Americans believe anything said on radio or TV, according to Gallup.
Talk with me, not at me. Get to know me, and I’ll get to know you. Be like me, and I’ll be like you. Otherwise, let us go our separate ways.