In the age of the Donald Trump Presidency?
Black folks have headlines, awards and recognition…..
*(Trump wasn’t happy)
″Green Book” took home the main prize, leaving a sour taste in some mouths.
The movie is your basic, old Hollywood Oscar bait: a story about a racist white man (Tony Lip, played by Viggo Mortensen) and a black jazz pianist (Don Shirley, played by Mahershala Ali) driving through the 1960s South and forging an unlikely friendship. With that in mind, it’s not too surprising that it won best picture — until you consider the many controversies that dogged it throughout campaign season.
The movie was written in part by Tony’s son, Nick Vallelonga — and Shirley’s family has claimed that it is filled with inaccuracies. (No one, aside from Ali, mentioned Shirley in their acceptance speeches.) In the lead-up to the Oscars, an anti-Muslim tweet by Vallelonga surfaced. Director Peter Farrelly admitted he used to flash his penis on set as a joke, for which he apologized.
The movie seemed unstoppable. And one explanation is that Oscar voters just don’t spend much time online, where criticism over “Green Book’s” portrayal of racial conflict has been simmering in controversy for the past few weeks…
It was the night of Spike Lee.
Pretty much everyone in Hollywood agreed that legendary director Spike Lee was overdue for some Academy Awards attention — not only was his “Do the Right Thing” famously snubbed for a best picture nomination in 1990, but he had never won before. (The Academy tried to make up for this by giving him an honorary Oscar in 2015, though everyone knows that’s not the same.)
Things changed Sunday night! Lee, along with Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott, won best adapted screenplay for “BlacKkKlansman.” Lee was so excited that he leaped into presenter Samuel L. Jackson’s arms, and the producers were forced to cut the sound for the first few seconds of his speech, as he presumably uttered some words not suitable for television. After Lee paid tribute to his grandmother, who put him through film school, he made the first overtly political comments of the night: “The 2020 presidential election is around the corner. Let’s all mobilize. Let’s all be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate.”
Lee also made headlines for his reaction to “Green Book” winning best picture. “I thought I was courtside at the Garden, and the refs made a bad call,” he told reporters backstage in reference to reports that he tried to walk out.