So, a friend of mine just posted this on her FB page.
It focuses a bit on Lupita N’Yongo being the girl of the hour, as Oscar Night approaches. I mean, why not? I haven’t even seen “12 Years a Slave” yet, and I STILL know who she is. Why? Because, Sista is FLAWLESS in public!
From her voice to her carriage to her fashion to her skin (LUMINOUS!) She has done NO WRONG in this awards season! And she’s doing it all without the assistance of a net (weave, that is.)
But the main question of the article kind of irked me. The author asked, point blank, does Hollywood only allow one Black actress to shine at a time?
Look, this ain’t news, but the thing is, when ANY actress is labeled an “It” girl, she’s got an expiration date stamped on her. And if her next 2 movies don’t live up to the hype, the audience will sour on her like bad milk, and she’s gone. And, as in most cases of well, everything, a Black actress’ span of time with the crown lasts, roughly, until the release date of her next project. And if it doesn’t “wow” the audience or the critics, it’s back to the salt mines of featured day players, with some infomercials on the side, for a lot of them.
Is Hollywood fickle? Duh!
But we can’t discount the general public’s hand in this, either. Because, what we love to do, as a celebrity gossip-hungry society is build up and then tear down. Like toddlers with wooden blocks, who patiently wait for someone to build a tower of popularity and good press, just so they can kick the foundation and gleefully watch the devastation afterwards.
We build up a particular person in the public eye until they are THE BIGGEST STAR IN THE WORLD. And that’s when we start looking for ways (rumors, relationships, drugs, conjecture) to bring the whole thing crashing down on our little social guinea pig. And there is ALWAYS some hungry little starlet, just waiting to take her place.
White or Black, an actress in this enviable, and yet treacherous position will start to feel the heat in no time at all. Remember Megan Fox? Can anyone name a movie she did after the Transformers gigs, where she was a standout? Anyone?
And as much as Anne Hathaway was lauded for her performance in “Les Mis,” she was simultaneously ripped apart online and in the papers, by random people who found her annoying and insincere. Her greatest triumph, completely undermined by public opinion that she’s “too polished”. They hate her, they’re just not sure why.
And hell, if there IS a Black “It” girl out there everyone’s talking about, it’s a step up. But sadly, the article makes the point that no matter how much chatter goes on about these women (a lot of whom are, in fact, phenomenal actors), it NEVER translates into more doors opening for Black actors in general. Why?
Honey, please don’t ask me. I’m still stalking Actors Access, looking for some featured day work.