Every year, millions of people tune in to watch the Oscars for their respective interests, like seeing if their favorite film from the past year receives an award or if Leonardo DiCaprio is finally awarded the honor he truly deserves.
But, as blatantly relevant as it was this year, there is something more to that.
Entering this year’s Oscars, numerous people made news for announcing that they planned on boycotting the ceremony due to its lack of African-American representation.
Host Chris Rock’s opening monologue was, itself, a form of point-making as he used lines like “you realize if they nominated hosts, I wouldn’t get this job’ and “it’s the 88th Academy Awards which means this while no black nominees thing has happened at least 71 other times.”
Rock even made it a point to invite the audience to enjoy the upcoming BET awards.
The show was tailored with a number of black actors and actresses, doing the honor of handing the winners of each award their trophy. This was definitely in relation to the academy’s recent criticism.
However, racism wasn’t the only social issue that was emphasized that night.
When Leonardo DiCaprio picked up the award for best actor in a leading role, he went on a rant concerning the effects of global warming he’s experienced and advocated in recent times.
“Climate change is real,” DiCaprio said. “It is happening right now, it is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.”
When Alejandro González Iñárritu, the director of “The Revenant,” accept his award, he threw attention back to the selection of race in the Academy Awards.
Iñárritu said the racial issues associated with Hollywood go deeper than what some would suspect.
He said people should rid themselves of racial bias and make skin color become as irrelevant as the length of hair.
What’s without a doubt is the idea that public figures who stand side-by-side with a certain belief feel it is necessary to air out their stance, even when the occasion may not always call for it.
Does an event like the Academy Awards stand as a medium for speeches, rants and protests that include a call for action?
When given the opportunity to stand in front of millions of people watching at home, there is no better time to express a message of personal importance.
It is known exactly what award shows are for and what’s made them popular over the years. But what’s to say there can’t be an additional purpose?
Rock being made the host, along with the numerous other minority guests, gave the show an obvious and blatant common theme.
Did having these black celebrities featured in the award show take away from the show itself or the meaning of the awards? Absolutely not.
For an analogy, the Oscars is like the Super Bowl.
The stir that Beyoncé created for wearing an outfit that resembled the attire of the Black Panthers led some to say they would boycott her music and concerts.
Did this effect the game in any way? Nope. Broncos went into halftime with the lead and finished the game off.
The point is that when someone feels passionately about something they wish to bring attention to, take advantage of a chance to air out that stance.
The big stage, when basically everyone is watching, is the best place for this too.
As a normal citizen, meaning one who hasn’t been thrust into the public eye, this should be motivation to speak for what you believe in.
If someone who has a reputation and popularity to worry about can still risk it all to get a point across, why can’t someone who essentially has nothing do it too?
Sure, we all have a reputation to consider in the great scheme of things, but can making a statement that some may not agree with or find important really be all that detrimental?
The point is if you feel passionately about something and don’t feel the need to represent that, then are you really doing anything to have any sort of effect?
It’s a known fact that internet trolling and pouting can only go so far.
So, like these celebrities that felt the need to make a statement about issues that felt were important on the stage of the Academy Awards, common people should use the same concept.
No, you probably won’t be able to run up and interrupt an award acceptance, Kanye-style, but you may be able to have a heard voice and bring attention to something you think it important.
In that case, what more can you ask of yourself?
So, the moral of the story is to be more like DiCaprio, Rock and Iñárritu.
By this, it doesn’t necessarily mean to go out and make millions playing roles in the production of films, though that wouldn’t be too bad either, but instead to air out what’s on your mind.
The only way things get done is when people take action.
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