Complexion Issue in Award Shows

Alexis Gaskin, Staff Writer

Whether it be the Tonys, the Emmys, MTV Video Music Awards or the Grammys, I am always in front of a TV ready to watch all the Hollywood antics and see who won what.

Through fits of yelling and the occasional cursing — because Beyoncé should have won that Grammy for Album of the year — award shows are always an interesting spectacle to watch.

From music to acting, costumes to set design, writing to directing, these awards show characterize and recognize the art that is in these films, songs, shows, musicals or whatever it may be.

I love award shows because of the theatre kid inside of me that one day hopes to be up there accepting my own award. (Insert Tony Award here).

However they kinda suck.

Over the last few years Award shows have been getting a lot of heat for not being diverse — and they aren’t. The #OscarsSoWhite campaign really brought a lot of people’s attention to the problem.

There are a lot of talented African American, Latino American, Asian American and many more different people who aren’t white, that aren’t being recognized.

Let’s be real here, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper aren’t the only people in Hollywood. But based off the past years of Award show nominees you’d think that they were. The Academy Award did come back with a solution by inviting 774 new diverse voting members. Dwayne Johnson, Jordan Peele, Barry Jenkins, John Cho and Priyanka Chopra are only a few of the invitees.

With progress like this, award shows are taking responsibility and trying to not let another #OscarsSoWhite issue happen again. Award shows can’t take all the blame when movies and directors are being made by the same white guy over and over again; and people of color are stuck playing the stereotypical roles of Nurses, IT Guy and Master Ninja.

In our generation, we have to change this narrative of only having movies and TV shows with the same people. We must demand diversity.

Award shows are fun and amazing to watch because you see the hard work of these people shine through, but when people of color and women are still being the “firsts” to win in a category, that’s an issue. It’s 2017 and Donald Glover was the first Black man to win Best directing in a comedy award.

These types of firsts are great and monumental, but it’s sad that they are happening now when so much talent has been snubbed because of how artists look.

In the years to come, a lot is expected of the top award shows like the Grammys, Emmys and Oscars to showcase the talent of the other side of Hollywood and not just the Jennifer Lawrences and Bradley Coopers.

This year, the Emmys showed the talent of so many diverse people and I hope that continues.