Oscars debate still bothers me, even though it’s done

Oscars debate still bothers me, even though it’s done
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Now that the Oscars are over, can we have a real discussion about the absence of fairness, the racism, stereotypes and bias that consumes the Hollywood movie industry? And to be honest, African Americans have a lot to complain about here in America over the past 400 years for sure, but they really are the last people who should complain about bias and exclusion from Hollywood movies, film and the movie industry.

By Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania covering Chicago City Hall (1976-1992)

Ray Hanania
covering Chicago
City Hall

The debate over the Oscars really bothers me.

Although the lack of diversity is a genuine, real problem with the Academy Awards and the awarding of Oscars to the film industry, it’s being debated and discussed in such a selfish and narrow manner.

The issue isn’t just about African Americans who have been slighted, as Will Smith said when he started the debate this time around. (It’s come up in the same selfish manner in the past, many times.)

The bigger issue is about the absence of fairness when it comes to talent. Race is an issue. And Blacks are not the only ones suffering or slighted. So many other ethnic and racial groups are also excluded from the Academy Awards and more importantly from the movie industry as a whole.

There are “minorities” and there are “minority minorities.” That list includes Arabs.

Here’s my post at Tremr.com, a partner blog site where I often explore issues that are shared and explored in more depth here.

The Arab Daily News

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Now that the Oscars are over, how about a real substantive debate about the lack of diversity at the Oscars?

I’m not going to let the issue go without trying to force American society, and African Americans, to address the issue correctly. Chris Rock, Spike Lee, are you guys listening? Because you did a big disservice to the issue of civil rights by making it only about Blacks.

Click here to read the column.

Hattie McDaniel, the first African American to win an Oscar in 1939 for Gone with the Wind. Courtesy Wikipedia

Hattie McDaniel, the first African American to win an Oscar in 1939 for Gone with the Wind. Courtesy Wikipedia

Click here for the list of African Americans who have won Oscars for Best Actor/Actress or Best Supporting Actor/Actress.

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Managing Writer at The Arab Daily News
RAY HANANIA — Columnist

Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and for TheArabDailyNews.com, and TheDailyHookah.com.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania

Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com

Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com www.arabnews.com/taxonomy/term/10906
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