In which I end Black History Month discussing a very White Oscars and a certain musical about Alexander Hamilton.
*[2022 Update: If the original link (below) no longer works, the entire piece is available in the attached screenshot.]
Charles Lewis III weighs in on some recent controversy.
Can you spot the Oscar-winner under all that shoe polish?
“In 1985, I’m sitting in the casting office of a major studio. The head of casting said, ‘I couldn’t put you in a Shakespeare movie, because they didn’t have Black people then.’ He literally said that. I told that casting director: ‘You ever heard of Othello? Shakespeare couldn’t just make up Black people. He saw them’.”
– Wendell Pierce, interview with The New York Times, 24 Feb. 2016
I don’t watch the Grammys. I mostly attribute that to growing up as a fan of The Simpsons, where both the ceremony and its namesake statuette were regularly mocked as being the most worthless of all celebrity milestones (the Golden Globes being a close second). I can also attribute it to the fact that as I grew up, the Grammys’ recipients rarely ever…
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