My phone blew up with texts, notifications, and inbox messages when actress Janet Hubert posted her critiques of Jada Pinkett-Smith’s call to boycott the Oscars due to lack of representation of Black & Brown artists and actors. Through online forums, threads, Tweets, and discussions, I became privy to conversations that sometimes nuanced… sometimes over-simplified the angles of the issue. Should we boycott? Was Janet Hubert just being petty or did she have a point? Who should boycott? What about the voting procedures? What was the “simple” solution?
Quick critiquing and solution-building can often lead to unsustainable solutions and underdeveloped thought processes. (Ask me how I know! I won’t lie, my first viewing of Hubert’s video were relatively dismissive until I had further dialogue about the points she raised). So, I wanted to explore and dive into the issue of media recognition and the solution to erasure of artists of color & our contributions to so many fields in my latest post for Music Makes Me Happy. Check out what I learned and the conclusions that I came to here!
“I wanted to get perspectives from both artists AND scholars who studied the arts to drill down to some of the moving parts inherent in this debacle. By taking a look at the different angles, we might gain a perspective on this debacle that goes past sensationalizing news and fly-by-night solutions. What it seems to boil down to is a further understanding of four things: 1) personal economics for working artists, 2) voting processes 3) industry economics and production pipelines, and 4) the expectation on and for White artists and actors”.