Reel Talk: The 88th (and my final) Academy Awards


Jillian Leiby, JagWire opinions editor

First, I must apologize for the lateness of this blog. I was busy last Thursday with the Bernie Sanders rally and I also needed a little break from the Oscars.

By the way, Bernie was amazing and missing my blog for the rally was totally worth it. To be clear, that statement and this blog is my opinion. If you have not realized that I am liberal before now (especially during my blog from last year, Feminist’s Forum), I can’t help you.

Anyway, the Oscars were two Sundays ago, and I’ve never been more happy to see an awards season end. I began the four-hour program knowing that I was going to be let down, but ultimately excited to see my favorite stars honored and the #OscarsSoWhite controversy addressed. Instead, I got an uneven production that honored — in my humble opinion — the wrong people. By the end, I was glad to see all those movies shift to awards season past. I need a eight month break after that.

It wasn’t that the Oscars did too much to address #OscarsSoWhite; I’m not so ignorant to think that I would be angrier if they didn’t devote a good amount of the program to it. But, it felt like Chris Rock and company did not know what their overall message was. Was it about elevating black actors, even by demeaning other people of color? Was it about making fun of people who had the guts to do what many in the room didn’t? (Cutting down Jada Pinkett Smith to make your point is counterproductive.) Was it about making the white people in the audience as uncomfortable as possible, either by having Stacey Dash show up or making graphic civil rights jokes? Or, was it about speaking about this as much, and in any way, as possible, so that people see that it is, in fact, a problem that has to be solved?

I don’t know. I don’t think Chris Rock or the producers even know. I think that if they had not beaten the proverbial horse as much as they did, I would be sitting here angry at them for ignoring such a glaring issue.

Either way, at 11 p.m., I crashed and hated every movie that was ever nominated for anything (except “Mad Max: Fury Road” #OscarsSoDundee).

Here are some tweet from last night. I think I did a good job of hiding my switch in feelings halfway through the night. (Hint: it’s when I had technical difficulties and I lost my mind.)

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