In 1973, cultural icon, and Oscar nominee, Marlon Brando, rejected his award for his critically-acclaimed role in The Godfather as a gesture to boycott against the racism towards the Native American people. He sought to use the academy as a platform to create a voice for the injustices against the marginalized.
Fast forward to 43 years later, the narrative isn't any different.
For the second consecutive year, where no black actors or actresses were nominated, there was a public outcry of the racial discrimination of people of color in the entertainment industry; thus #OscarsSoWhite emerged, a global social media movement protesting the unequal representation of people of color and minority in Hollywood, which actress Jada Pinkett-Smith, acclaimed director Spike Lee, and Emmy award-winning actress Viola Davis fully support.
Calling for an Oscar boycott, Jada Pinkett-Smith expressed, "But how is it possible for the second consecutive year all 20 contenders under the actor category are white? And let's not even get into the other branches. 40 white actors in 2 years and no flava at all?"
Now how do Filipinos and other minorities fit into this plight?
Given that the Western media play a huge role in controlling who and what is shown on the big screen, what is apparent is that the representation of minorities is often just a misrepresentation. Instead of being the protagonist in the story that explores the complexities of their human experience, people of color, Filipinos, and minorities, are often given limited opportunities with only supporting roles, maybe as slaves, maids, waiters, or thugs.
While it is hard enough to have equal opportunities as a person of color, the issue that misrepresentation brings is as Marlon Brando dissected in a 1973 interview:
"…people don't realize how deeply these people are injured by seeing themselves represented—not the adults, who are already inured to that kind of pain and pressure, but the children."
What are your thoughts on this? Do you think it’s high time to call for an Oscar boycott? Let us know in comment box below.
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With reports from Elaine Bautista