The nominations for the 84th Annual Academy Award will be announced next week, January 24th and The Help is sure secure nods for two of its leads (Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer) as well as for Best Picture. The question is where does PARIAH fall in this year’s Oscar race. Even with critical acclaim (96% approval on Rotten Tomatoes), and strong support from black moviegoers, director Dee Rees, and actresses Adepero Oduye, Kim Wayans, and Pernell Walker might as well be invisible to Academy voting members. Writer Mychal Denzel Smith, in a piece for The Guardian, believes that PARIAH, is being snubbed because of its progressive and authentic portrayal of African-American life, whereas The Help falls within the guidelines of the Hollywood’s narrow and myopic view of black characters. Smith states:
“The Help squanders an opportunity to provide a vital and revelatory look into the lives of black domestic workers in the throes of the civil rights movement; instead it sanitises their story, glosses over the realities of systemic racism, the effects of poverty, exalts the “white saviour” motif, and traffics in tired “mammy” stereotypes. Yet it has still become a white liberal favourite.”
You can read article in its entirety HERE
What say you readers? Does the Academy have a track record of rewarding black actor/actresses with Oscar awards for stereotypical black roles? Or should we support Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, regardless, in hopes for more opportunities for Black Hollywood? Sound off in the comments section below.