Media BLACKOUT: Mama, We Mainstream!

By Antonio Moore

As the Oscars approach this Sunday, millions of black people are still collectively rolling their eyes over this year’s controversy where no African-American talent was nominated for the major awards. Now, I could write all about how Hollywood is whitewashed, how shocking it is that diversity is still taking L’s after all these years, and even talk about how we are currently living in a world where Beyoncé is considered a racist, and Donald Trump might be our president (I know, scary). But that’s no fun and personally, I’m tired of the media hype. Instead of focusing on what’s wrong with Hollywood, I want to give props to the actors and actresses pushing us forward in the entertainment world, making it so that this year’s fiasco won’t be happening again anytime soon.

 

The United States of Empire

empire photo

Photo Courtesy of HitShowsToWatch.com

This past fall Empire had everyone’s attention. Whether you’re a fan of the show or an innocent bystander on social media, there was no escaping the Lyon’s ever-growing impact on our society.

From the season premiere right up to the fantastically  “It’s about damn time” Golden Globe speech given from Taraji, what started as a show became a cultural phenomenon.

Empire has sparked news stories, fashion blogs, and more Cookie memes than you could imagine. But the show’s greatest impact was promoting our culture from our people.

Empire’s presence gave it the ability to be authentic. Every verbal jab thrown with copious amounts of shade, every love scene filled with passion and acceptance whether it be gay or straight, and the dance scenes actually made you want to get up and dance, too.

Empire has found a way to create a complete fantasy situation and use that platform to promote relatable characters. Although the show has been snubbed, it’s impact on society has been undeniable. That’s worth more that a trophy.

 

I’m Black-ish and Proud

blackish

Photo courtesy of ABC.com

Black-ish is another great example of TV making an impact.

Anthony Anderson wrote, produced, and stars in a comedy about a family being black and successful in a way that everyone can relate to.

The show tackles touchy subjects such as gun control, explores cultural wonders like whether or not black people can really swim, and yes, the ‘N’ word. Black-ish is another unapologetic show that remains authentic in it’s execution. It addresses issues that are relevant to today’s society in a clever way allowing people to have open discussions and even laugh.

Black-ish’s honesty helps people connect over race and tells a story from the perspective of the people who are usually left out of these conversations where they matter most. The show’s increased ratings will surely see it win the accolades it so greatly deserves in due time, but awards or no, the show’s charm alone is an absolute win.

 

How Viola Got Away With Murdering the Emmy’s

Shonda rhimes

Photo Courtesy of HitFix.com

Viola Davis has been a long-standing talent in the industry. The night she made history and won the first Emmy for an African-American lead role, she let everyone know it.

She started the conversation on the lack of recognition for diversity in the upper echelons of Hollywood. It began with her excellent portrayal of a defense attorney who wears her scars openly in a hour-long political mind game written by one of the beautiful minds in modern TV. Shonda Rhimes seeps her characters in backgrounds that instantly wrap your attention to ride the roller coaster in Shondaland for seasons to come.

The performances by Shonda’s starring casts, which also includes Kerry Washington, carry the emotion necessary to pull you in and convince you every Thursday to devote two hours of your time to three powerful women.

It’s performances like these backed by story lines with raw ingenuity that will continue to push black talent forward, making this year’s Oscar’s just another barrier on the verge of being broken.

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