It was out of character for me to not enjoy the Oscars. First, this recent Oscars featured the most diverse films of the year. Moonlight, a film centering around a black, gay male; Hidden Figures, the triumph story of three African American women pioneers at NASA ; and Fences, the beautifully crafted August Wilson tale of the everyman. As an actor, These featured films and documentaries that explored accustomed environments, spoke unfiltered language, and reflected recognizable people should’ve kept me in awe. However, I was solemn.
The previous night Chyna Doll Dupree was shot ten times, leaving the Earth sweet memories of a vibrant performer. I never met her. I never met Trayvon Martin, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X , Harvey Milk and countless others that had to feel small caps of steel, piercing through their bodies.
As a distraction from empathy, I poured a glass of champagne anticipating Denzel’s victory; he was the front-runner for Best Actor. Though Viola Davis and Marhershala Ali brought Oscar’s home, it wasn’t a surprise because they’ve been collecting accolades the whole award season. I needed Denzel to win. Denzel always had an uplifting, eloquent speech to tie into his award. Casey Affleck seized the Oscar. I gulped some champagne.
With the main category, Best Picture, left to present, the room’s atmosphere became lighter. Hidden Figures or Moonlight would be the barrier of our good vibes. A win for either film would be a sigh of relief. La La Land was announced as the winner. Immediately, I felt defeated, hoping the champagne would be first aid to my bruised ego. Though a bit dramatic, I asked myself is there solace? To be so close , yet , so far.
I decided to focus on the important matters by deciphering what I could do to ensure Chyna Doll’s justice. A Facebook post wouldn’t suffice. As the ideas flowed, my phone received a text:
It was a mishap! MOONLIGHT WON!