I think this music video excoriates the racial indignities of Classical (and to a large extent, Modern) Hollywood filmmaking as forcefully as any essay could. I’m posting the video today for no better reason than to offer a stark reminder of Hollywood’s ugly history, lest we forget in our jubilation over this year’s Oscars. Hollywood may have “progressed” to the point where black-themed films like Precious can stand out at the Academy Awards ceremony (6 nominations, 2 wins), but the fact remains that there have not been significant steps taken in “Tinseltown” to redress its racist and prejudicial past – or even truly to confront it. Hollywood’s quick to congratulate itself when it does something “right” (standing ovation for Mo’Nique, ladies and gentlemen!); but it doesn’t care openly to admit when it’s done something wrong. (Incidentally, Barbra Streisand’s remark before announcing Kathryn Bigelow’s name for Best Director – “Well, the time has come” – wasn’t nearly sardonic enough, for my liking.)
I’ve got an idea: How about an Oscar montage that acknowledges the shameful legacy of Hollywood racial stereotyping – a veritable cavalcade of “mammy” and “spooked Negro” clips set to the bold orchestral splashes of Bill Conti? Better yet, just show this P.E. rap video on the big screen at the Kodak Theatre, and watch the audience squirm.
I shudder to think that the new liberal Academy may be delusional enough to cheer along as Chuck D and crew bid them all to go up in flames.