Revisiting The Most Colorful Part Of The Academy Awards – And The Razzies

By Arturo R. García

Sunday’s Academy Awards telecast didn’t do much to challenge Idris Elba’s recent assertion that the Oscars “aren’t designed for us.” But there were a couple of bright spots for PoCs during the show, and one in particular had a massive award haul – but probably not the kind he was looking for. Details, and some feel-good music, are under the cut.

Yes, it was indeed a big night for M. Night Shyamalan … at the Razzie Awards, that is. In a fitting climax to the Racebending saga of The Last Airbender, the film “earned” five Razzies, including Worst Director for Shyamalan; Worst Eye-Gouging Misuse of 3-D; Worst Supporting Actor for Jackson Rathbone; Worst Screenplay, and, of course, Worst Picture.

Another movie we touched on this past year, Sex And The City 2, won three Razzies, including Worst Actress and Worst Screen Ensemble for the film’s core quartet. And Jessica Alba’s work in Machete was cited in her winning Worst Supporting Actress.

Back at the Oscars … well, uh, Oprah showed up. And so did Morgan Freeman. And somehow Gwyneth Paltrow got to sing and Jennifer Hudson did not. And the lost 8 Mile prequel, The King’s Speech, won Best Picture. But, as Angry Asian Man pointed out, at least there was Shaun Tan, who won the award for Best Animated Short, for adapting his story The Lost Thing for the big screen.

But the show ended up getting a much-needed shot of diversity at the end, from an unlikely source: the PS 22 Chorus from Staten Island, NY, who closed out the night singing “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” According to PopEater, the group’s director, Gregg Breinberg, said this year’s group was excited to make the trip to California for this performance, and not just because they’d get to visit Disneyland:

The first thing they wanted to know [about Hollywood] was, ‘Are there gonna be bathrooms there?’ Then they wanted to know, ‘Is Justin Bieber gonna be there?’ Honestly, I don’t know how they can wrap their heads around it. I’m 38 years old, and I can’t wrap my head around it.

Of course, some folks probably aren’t aware that these kids can a lot more than showtunes. Here they are doing Alphaville’s “Forever Young”:

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Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at team@racialicious.com.

The founders of Racialicious are Carmen Sognonvi and Jen Chau. They are no longer with the blog. Carmen now runs Urban Martial Arts with her husband and blogs about local business. Jen can still be found at Swirl or on her personal blog. Please do not send them emails here, they are no longer affiliated with this blog.

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  • ch555x

    I can’t even remember the last time I even stopped on ABC via remote control, let alone the Oscars. Most of TV IS outdated, Oscars included!

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  • Paz

    No mention of Hailee Steinfeld (black/Asian/Jewish)? Yes, she was nominated for playing a white character, but she still deserves a mention!

  • Anonymous

    I love the kids. But I too was struck by just how white the awards were last night. I didn’t even see any black people in the audience. (Though I guess there was no reason to go…)

    Jennifer Hudson was beautiful – but we definitely are living in a bizarro world when she does introductions, and Gwyneth sings (badly). Even Jimmy Kimmel mentioned the “whiteout”, and he never seemed very savvy on race issues to me before…

  • Anonymous

    I love those kids! I first saw them do a rendition of one of Coldplay’s songs.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve never made a conscious effort to watch the Oscars. I don’t even know the date this year. Haha. But I totally agree with you.

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  • Christine

    This is SO sweet, it gives me goose bumps! I love that they allow the kids to move and express themselves with movement, as well; unlike traditional, stoic, still choruses. Perfection, you are this.