Selma cast's "I Can't Breathe" shirts offended Oscar voter.
Comments made by an anonymous member of the Academy (those folks who vote on who gets an Oscar and who doesn’t) made the rounds this week and it’s pretty indicative of how out of touch many white people are when it comes to race, protest, and political statements.
What no one wants to say out loud is that Selma is a well-crafted movie, but there’s no art to it. If the movie had been directed by a 60-year-old white male, I don’t think that people
would have been carrying on about it to the level that they were. And as
far as the accusations about the Academy being racist? Yes, most
members are white males, but they are not the cast of Deliverance — they had to get into the Academy to begin with, so they’re not cretinous, snaggletoothed
hillbillies. When a movie about black people is good, members vote for
it. But if the movie isn’t that good, am I supposed to vote for it just
because it has black people in it? I’ve got to tell you, having the cast
show up in T-shirts saying “I can’t breathe” [at their New York premiere] — I thought that stuff was offensive. Did they want to be known for making the best movie of the year or for stirring up shit?
The best line is obviously the snaggletoothed hillbillies quip because so many white people think that racism has one form and one presentation. If you’re not lynching anyone, then obviously you’re not racist.
If the cast of a movie about Black people non-violently staging a protest wears a t-shirt in solidarity with a current non-violent protest concerning Black people and you’re offended by it, you might be a racist. And I’m sure you’re not the only one with access to a ballot.