It was not an easy thing to do, to turn on the Oscars. This was a ‘Kevin’ thing – when there was an occasion to celebrate music, art or theater – Kevin was on it. He regularly watched these types of shows, so it was hard to tune into it on Sunday, but it would have seemed odd not to. But as usual, Kevin was there in my head. I could hear his voice throughout the ceremonies.
He would have objected to the opening monologue by Chris Rock. It simply undermined the entire event. It made the celebration of excellence secondary, it tainted the accomplishments of the artists and creative geniuses involved. It likely increased the pressure on the actors, directors and supporting cast to find a cause to grandstand, because, really without a cause you’d get no ink; you would be judged as having no substance or depth. It added a political element into the entire event. The political element or the awareness piece is already embedded in the films that were selected, there were plenty of takeaways there.
The Oscars are supposed to be a celebration and supposed to be entertainment, instead it was frustrating, slow, and rather awkward. I suspect the way the commentary went it was supposed to make one uncomfortable, more conscious of injustice. What it did for me was reinforced that discrimination is an easy thing to fall into. The host did it himself, when instead of promoting awareness of injustice to all non-whites, he focused his comments on blacks. It’s rather easy, isn’t it, to want to take care of your own and forget about everyone else.
It would be far better for the Oscars to focus on their sole purpose, which is to honor the best of the best within the film industry. Take us on a journey that is exciting, glamorous, fun and upbeat. Let the movies provide the drama, cultural awareness, education, sadness and joy. If someone within the industry believes passionately about a cause, then go support it, every day in every way; don’t figure a few statements at a gala event make you a better person. Live it, lead it and land it.