10 Thoughts All Black Folks Definitely Had During The Oscars
You know you had every one of these thoughts at the most #lit Academy Awards ever.
I have watched my share of Oscar ceremonies, but this was one of the most entertaining and somehow culturally relevant ones I have ever experienced. In celebration of its #lit behavior, here are 10 thoughts I’m quite sure all Black people had this past Sunday.
1. “What the fuck is a La La Land and why do I feel like it’s going to win tonight?”
Black people around the world pondered the mystery of La La Land. What is it exactly? Struggling actresses and white people saving Jazz? Moulin Rouge without the absinthe-fueled acid trip, shot like a 90-minute Target Commercial with some ’90s Gap choreography? Whatever the hell it is, it’s quite obvious to us that white people love it. It stars the two most quirky and yet somehow bland stars ever, Ryan Perpetually-Looking-Bored Gosling and Emma I’m-Cute-Because-I-Say-Um-and-Like-During-All-My-Interviews Stone. The movie also harkens back to the “Golden Age of Hollywood” — which invariably means that something is racist AF, or at least incredibly tone-deaf to anything not-white (which is just a nicer way of saying racist AF). Either way, Hollywood loves a good old-fashioned White Hollywood movie, and it showed: La La Land tied with Titanic and All About Eve as the most-nominated movie in Oscars’ history. So, we may as well prepare ourselves for its inevitable award sweeping, right?
2. “If one of y’all say ‘Hidden Fences’ one mo’ gain…”
Michael Keaton hurt a lot of Black-ass feelings the night he mixed up Hidden Figures and Fences. It was so painfully indicative of how movies centered around Black folks, no matter how popular, tend to be devalued simply for being Black. Yet, as Black folks tend to do when white people hurt our feelings, we took it in stride, turning to social media to transform our pain into humor. The months went by and maybe y’all thought we forgot, but I promise you, Black folks turned on their TVs all over the world, holding a bat named Hot Sauce and channeling the vengeful ghost of Nat Turner, daring one of y’all to say some shit like that again. Editor-in-Chief of People Magazine Jess Cagle thought he’d try, but he corrected himself immediately. Black Twitter got him though. Got him good.
“What the fuck is a La La Land and why do I feel like it’s going to win tonight?”
3. “What the hell is up with Halle Berry’s wig?”
Black folks around the world concluded in unison on Sunday that Miss Halle Berry has no real friends, because friends don’t let friends come out the house with a fried animal attached to the top of their heads. That shit wasn’t cool, Halle. And then you had the nerve to call it your natural hair? Girl, first of all, don’t ever in your life call that raggedy over-styled ‘do a “natural” unless you’re on some self-hating bullshit. Also, listen. Who are you trying to fool right now? We ain’t saying you lying to these white folks right now, we’re just saying we know what the hell a twenty dollar Monday-Ministry-Angry-Church-Lady-Grocery-Shopping-In-Slippers-Crooked-Ass-Beauty-Supply-Store wig looks like! That’s all.
4. “Jimmy Kimmel needed to get popped in the mouth for making fun of Mahershala Ali’s name.”
Lawd, here we go! And here come the coons and white folks to tell us to “lighten up! It’s a joke!” But nah, we’re actually quite tired of your supposed comedic micro-aggressions towards any name that isn’t Tom, Dick, or Harry — literally. Mahershala Ali is the first Muslim-identifying person to win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. And he’s fucking hot AF! And he’s Cottonmouth from Luke Cage, a.k.a. the Blackest show on Netflix, and he’s also just hot AF, so Jimmy, you respect that beautiful man’s name, hear? You respect that name like you respect the name Mufasa! It sends friggin’ shivers down your spine! Mahershala! Mahershala! Mahershala! WOO! WOO! WOO!
Hollywood’s obsession with poor, lost brown people in slums or jungles is frustrating.theestablishment.co
5. “Damn, but what are my chances of getting with Janelle Monae though?”
The thirst was real when Janelle Monae showed up in that dress though. I don’t care how conservative you are, how Christian you are, what sexual orientation you identify as: when the cast of Hidden Figures came strutting out on that stage and Janelle Monae stepped into the spotlight all succulent and melanin-y in that Elie Saab gown, you wanted her. You know you did. She is absolutely mesmerizing in person and soul. Keep winning, Janelle, honey! KEEP WINNING! Also, shout out to Katherine Johnson being wheeled out onto the stage and receiving a standing ovation from the very people who once made her run miles across a NASA campus to get to the colored bathroom. HAHA! #reparations.
6. “God is a Black woman and her name is Viola Davis.”
Do yourself a favor and go listen to her acceptance speech, OK? Joining the elite club of entertainers who have managed to score a Tony, Oscar, and Emmy (Whoopi Goldberg is in that club too), Viola Davis brought the house down with her speech. She swept Black women around the world with joy when she pointed to her Black husband and declared him supportive and loving (a narrative often denied to us by misogynoir and white supremacy). Honestly, the show could have ended there, could it not? What the fuck is it about Viola Davis that gets the world groveling at her feet? Is it her ability to be so vulnerable and powerful at the same time? That’s some goddess-level amazingness that even King Bey hasn’t mastered. Women like Taraji P. Henson and Viola Davis stand as symbols to us — women who, in the face of all that red tape, just kept pushing and pushing and pushing until one day the walls of Hollywood oppression just gave. Davis makes me believe in more than her. She makes me believe in myself.
Viola Davis makes me believe in more than her. She makes me believe in myself.
7. “Anybody with a Black auntie already knew who #GaryFromChicago’s fiancée’s favorite actor was.”
If you don’t know the quintessential definition of a Black auntie and uncle is then do yourself a favor and rewatch #GaryFromChicago. Jimmy Kimmel tried to play a prank on a bus of unsuspecting tourists on a Hollywood Fame tour by inviting them into what they thought was a wax museum, but ended up being the actual Oscars. But listen, the joke was on him. Gary From Chicago and his fiancée — whose name is apparently Vicky, but I’m just going to refer to her as Black Auntie because that’s a Black auntie if I’ve ever seen one — rolled in just laid back AF, phones rolling on Facebook Live or Instagram Story, as they made their way to the front like they owned the place. Turns out that Gary From Chicago had apparently just gotten out of prison, which made this so much better because this is what Black uncles and aunties do. They get out of prison and roll up to your place for BBQ and football like they ain’t just been locked up for seven-plus years. But let’s talk about Black Auntie real quick. Jimmy Kimmel naively asked her, “Who is your favorite actor?” and Black folks around the world rolled their eyes. Jimmy Kimmel clearly ain’t never met a Black Auntie in his life because dude, the answer is always Denzel. ALWAYS! Did you see that thirsty look on her face when she pointed into the crowd and said, “That man right there?” She done had that look on her face for 30-plus years watching Mo Betta Blues and Devil in a Blue Dress. Listen to me! If you have a Black Auntie who lived through the ‘90s? The answer ain’t never ever gone ever EVER be anything other than Denzel Washington.
8. “Why is Ben Affleck’s little brother holding Denzel Washington’s Oscar?”
The Academy has a strange relationship with Denzel Washington. He has consistently delivered iconic performances — and positive performances at that, like his portrayal of Malcolm X. Still, he received snub after snub until his turn as the crooked cop in Training Day, which I mean…OK, I guess. The point is, if you saw Fences then you know Denzel Washington is essentially the Beyoncé of the Oscars. Even Ben Affleck’s little brother (whom we will always refer to that way because honestly, what’s a Casey Affleck?) Adele’d the hell out of his speech by saying straight up that he learned how to act by watching Denzel Washington. Not to mention the “controversy” of Ben Affleck’s little brother being a sexual predator who thinks it’s okay to sneak into women’s beds while they are asleep and rub their backs. So like…? Seems like the Academy could have made the world a better place if they’d just skipped that entire controversy and given the Oscar to its rightful owner, Denzel Washington, but you know. Sex sells.
If you saw Fences then you know Denzel Washington is essentially the Beyoncé of the Oscars.
9. “Moonlight snatching that Oscar from the La La Land #REPARATIONS”
Let’s give a shout out to Bonnie and Clyde though! Warren Beatty’s face said it all as he looked at the envelope for Best Picture and saw that it read “Emma Stone.” In the largest flub in Oscars history, La La Land was called up to the stage for winning Best Picture, and mid-speech, it turned out that the award belonged to underdog film, Moonlight. There are levels to this, guys! A Black written film with an all Black cast dealing with LGBT issues won over a nostalgia Hollywood piece. That’s pretty big! Sure, it kind of feels like some sort of atonement for last year’s #OscarsSoWhite debacle, but it was a strong moment. And while I do agree that Moonlight was robbed of its beautiful moment, I highly doubt this was some diabolical plot to give the win to La La Land. The Academy is very tight-lipped about its winners, and in order to ensure that award cards arrive on site and on time, there are two sets of cards to pull from, each in a different suitcase. Beatty ended up with the duplicate of the Best Actress card. I’ve worked backstage at too many events to know how plausible it is to end up with the wrong card or the wrong announcement or a wardrobe malfunction. All it takes is someone’s headpiece to crap out, a quick miscommunication, a volunteer having a meltdown in the bathroom, a handler snuck one too many glasses of champagne when their boss wasn’t looking, a producer shaking their head at the latest Trump tweet while Beatty and Dunaway went bouncing by. Or maybe an evil white person tried to give the win to La La Land, I don’t know! Whatever, it’s done. Moonlight wins! Fatality!
10. “What is Remy Ma doing right now?”
Does this have anything to do with the Oscars? Nope, but listen, who ain’t thinking about that huge L Nicki Minaj took when Remy Ma came for her wig? In the words of Minaj herself, Imma take two verses just to laugh *ahem* BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAHAAHAHAHAAHAHAHA! *breathe* ANYWAYS, it’s too late for a rebuttal now, Nicki. It’ll just look like your ghostwriters didn’t work fast enough, but Remy, honey? You all the way up!