If you’re anything like me, when you found out the Oscars were going to be all white, you thought, “I like movies, but I don’t know if I can enjoy 75 hours of White People Getting Prizes. Shouldn’t I just boycott it?"
First of all, if you weren’t invited, and you’re not a Nielsen family or something, a ban is probably not necessary.
But even so, I’m here to tell you that you CAN enjoy the Academy Awards ceremony even if you are a person of colour who feels under represented, alienated and marginalised.
By following these simple guidelines…
1. Pray that Chris Rock’s opening monologue will have some extra bite. OR… his knowing laugh will turn to tears and he’ll howl, “I am complicit!"
Either way, that should be interesting.
2. Try thinking of yourself as white.
There's an old saying: "If it ain't white, it ain't right." In fact, I think it's on the Academy's mission statement. (The old one – they are making changes.)
If you can say this to yourself enough before the telecast, you'll be surprised by how white you feel. Then you can enjoy watching the white gents and ladies collect their gold like Francisco Pizarro (that’s a historical conquistador reference, you guys).
3. Make mental notes of all the interesting, potentially deserving movies involving people of colour in them… and throw those mental notes in the mental trash.
Chi-raq, Straight Outta Compton, Taxi… Like Michael Caine said, they just weren’t good enough. Better luck next year!
4. Whatever you do, do NOT read sad stories of frustration and hardship from people of colour in the entertainment industry.
This kind of thing won’t make you feel better, I promise.
Also, have you heard of white paternalism? Don’t look it up. It’s not a good thing and Oscar loves it.
5. And you really don’t want to watch any videos breaking down the kind of black performances that win Oscars.
Hint: It’s a lot of poor people and people in prison. This kind of information is very unsettling and will only make it hard to laugh when Jennifer Lawrence (adorable alert!) falls down on her way to the podium.
While we’re here, stay away from charts and graphs that show that minorities mainly win awards when they play stereotypes. Also not a good time.
6. Also, it’s probably best to not think about all those racist movies that won awards.
There’s a bunch of them, apparently. (I hope you don’t have strong positive feelings about Rocky and Avatar… yikes!)
7. Drink every time Eddie Redmayne howls “White power!"
Just kidding, you guys. I’m sure Eddie Redmayne would never do that. He seems very nice.
8. Find comfort in the fact that there are a bunch of actual, real life multicultural people presenting this year…
Here’s a list of some of them:
Benicio Del Toro
Louis Gossett Jr.
Not too shabby, right? Right?
9. Drink every time a presenter makes a reference to how white the Oscars are and then they cut to a black person’s reaction.
Like Rebel Wilson at the BAFTAs, white people can call the Oscars racist as a joke and it’s funny because what are all these whiney people of colour complaining about?
Of course, most of the jokes about #OscarsSoWhite will probably come from Chris Rock, so it might be better if they cut to an uncomfortable white person after his jokes.
10. Instead of being all “Me, me, me”, take some advice from Charlotte Rampling and try not being so racist against white people.
Yes, the 45 Years actress backtracked on those comments, but she really gave us a lot to think about.
11. Definitely DON'T keep this in mind: From 1927 to 2012, 99 per cent of Best Actress winners and 91 per cent of Best Actor winners were white.
12. As hard as it may be, try to accept that, like Kate Winslet’s accent in Steve Jobs, the Oscars can be shaky, curious, sometimes baffling, occasionally good, but most importantly, capable of changing.
Seriously, what was that? Russian?
Was it Russian?
13. If he wins, Leonardo DiCaprio could pull a Brando and get Native Americans to do something big.
He dedicated his Golden Globe to Indigenous people so maybe he’ll throw us non-whites another bone!
14. Tina Fey, Sacha Baron Cohen and Sarah Silverman are presenting – they’ve got to have something good…
They’re satirists, right? Come on!
15. Don’t blame Brad Pitt for any of this. He’s trying.
16. Remember: If it weren’t for the Oscars, literally every movie would be Transformers.
I mean, have you seen those movies?
17. Think of the words of Whoopi Goldberg, who said, “I won once. So it can’t be that racist.”
Make sure you head over to SBS Movies, where we'll be providing live, insightful and delightful coverage of the Oscars, which airs live on Channel 9 on Monday, 29 February at 12pm (AEDT).
And if you're looking for movies that are a little less white, check out NITV’s guide to the best of Indigenous and People of Colour cinema on SBS On Demand.