Last night the Oscars happened. You might be aware that this years Oscars has been surrounded by allegations of institutionalised racism. Meaning that before they’d even handed out a single golden statue of a naked man, they were on thin ice.
The Academy combated this by having Chris Rock host the whole thing and effectively giving him carte blanche to call them all racist. Because it’s fine to be a racists if you allow a black person to stand in front of you and mock you for being racist.
That said, Rock did an excellent job and has quite rightly been applauded for his take on the whole thing. Obviously enthused by the potential for more hijinks the Academy decided that they too should get in on the racism angle by - being run primarily by old white men - commissioning a video that targeted Will Smith (who famously boycotted the ceremony this year) and Black History Month.
Considering the accusations aimed towards the Academy in recent months, this seems like it might have been a slightly poor decision. Because, lets face it, Will Smith’s only real crime is being a bit loud sometimes and Black History Month is, generally speaking, only offensive to white supremacists. Satire is one thing but it doesn't really work when you're targeting relatively innocent parties.
On the one hand, you've got Chris Rock's fantastic brains behind the sketch and you can argue that it's a very clever parody - even a dig at The Academy itself paid for by their own dollar (BRAVO!). On the other hand, the current debate is still so raw that the subtleties of the joke are quite blurry and for all intents and purposes this is The Academy mocking a man that publicly spoke out at them and trivializing his reasons.
Check out the 1 minute video here: