– så hvorfor sidder jeg alligevel tilbage med en dårlig smag i munden?
The Oscars were hip, renewed and diverse like never before
– so why am I still left with a bad taste in my mouth?
First of all, a big congratulations to Thomas Vinterberg for receiving an Oscar for “Drink.”
Nothing is as it was, we have gradually found out in these corona times . George Floyd and the ensuing trial have been part of the daily debate here in the United States, as has the rise in violence against Asian Americans – all in a year filled with pandemics and presidential election campaigns.
Therefore, it was no wonder that the distribution of this year’s Oscar statuettes did not take place as usual but very symbolically, in these so changeable times, took place at the train station Union Station in Los Angeles.
The Oscar committee has been criticized for years for favoring films produced and played by whites. This year, the composition of award-winning films, the evening’s hosts and recipients of the much-coveted golden statuette was racially widely represented. There was even room to get Marlee Matlin , the only deaf actress to win an Oscar, to present two of the evening’s categories in sign language. And not only that, there was even an African-American DJ with rasta hair .
What can they do when they get their arm twisted and want to show that they have no bias whatsoever.
So, what’s not to like?
Yes, there should and must be changes. Of course, all groups in society must be represented in terms of color, age, mental or physical disability, and so on.
But despite the good intentions, the evening’s entertainment and presentation of films and actors seemed forced. And that’s what’s the problem.
If it does not seem natural to enter into a relationship with people who look different than oneself, then it will be visible on TV somewhere, there were several examples of this at yesterday’s event.
When different cultures have not learned to move together, such as it was toe-crunching clear yesterday that they do not have, then it becomes strange to look at. Even if a large number is made out of giving attention to minority groups. Several times we saw how actors and directors around the small tables did not know how to behave when African American young men give the gas with their testosterone-filled, fiery culture that is so far from the normative white we are used to see when to pull on the tuxedo and the official party program begins.
It’s a shame, because the project was commendable. All beginnings are difficult, and the United States is not exactly known for dealing with taboos or racial themes gracefully, which unfortunately was not the case yesterday either.
It amazes me constantly that when you encounter a behavior that stands out from the one you are used to that, so instead of the first to accept that you feel uncomfortable, and secondly, will not show it, not just react to what you feel – and get a debate out of it. It’s a bit difficult on TV, of course, but if possible it’s even more painful to watch how people’s reactions to each other signal the exact opposite of what was intended – namely inclusion and acceptance. Authenticity is the metier of these people, it is what they live by passing on to us in the tales they immortalize on the canvas.
It is natural to feel uncomfortable with fashion if you do not know the codes you are presented with. I know all about that. But I also know that if you do not try to understand the culture you see and experience, you will never be able to understand the social form and reactions that are associated with being able to move among others than your own clan.
It’s not just about understanding, it’s also about knowing who you are – and being able to stand by it when needed and be ready to learn and move when it’s in place. Without such an understanding, the premise of being able to move in and out of each other’s circles falters.
When even those who hit the drums for inclusion and diversity feel awkward when they do not completely define the situation, then there is a long way to go.
It should not be a balancing act, neither who gets assigned statuettes nor to move among people who are different from oneself. But it is.
Maybe I should know better, after all, I live in the United States, where I see and hear about racial differences every day.
But Hollywood is where dreams come true and are made a reality, if nothing else then in the brief glimpse a movie lasts. If anywhere, it is among dreamers and idealists that one should be able to believe in a brighter future. Unfortunately, even the creators of dreams could not live up to their own ideals when reality presented itself.
In this way, the Oscar show became a clear picture of how much work is still ahead – on the polished floors and out in the community.