Monday, April 01, 2024

The next honorary Academy Award needs to go this woman (Ava and C.I.)

Where is Diana Ross' honorary Oscar?

The Academy Awards have a serious race issue that they are attempting to address, after way too many years of ignoring it, in the competitive categories.  Sorry to break it to them and the #OscarSoWhite activists, they're both ignoring the issue of the Honorary Award.  The Academy Awards note:

The Academy’s Honorary Award is given at the discretion of the Board of Governors and not necessarily awarded every year. The Honorary Award may or may not be an Oscar statuette; when it is, the Award is presented as part of the Academy Awards ceremony. This is the Honorary Award most familiar to the public. It is sometimes given to honor a filmmaker for whom there is no annual Academy Award category: choreographer Michael Kidd in 1996, for instance, or animator Chuck Jones in 1995. It can be also given to an organization, such as the National Film Board of Canada in 1988, or even a company, such as Eastman Kodak, which received it that same year.

That award has been given out thirty one times.  How many African-Americans have received it?


None received the award in the 20th century -- at a time when Sidney Poitier became the first African-American to win a Best Actor Academy Award -- the first and the only African-American to win Best Actor and the only one to win it in the entire 20th century, when Dorothy Dandridge became the first African-American woman to be nominated for Best Actress and when nearly 30 years later Diana Ross and Cicely Tyson became the next African-American females nominated (and, in 1972, the first time an acting category had more than one African-American nominated).

In 2018, the Academy finally gave the honorary award to Cicely Tyson (she was the first African-American woman to receive that honor).  Since then, they've only given it to one other woman -- the highly deserving Angela Bassett.

Guess what?

Diana Ross is highly deserving as well.  In the 70s, she managed to star in three studio films and not one of them was Blaxploitation (despite what  some idiot White male critics say -- MOTOWN did not do Blaxploitation, that would have gone against everything Berry Gordy stood for and believed in).   Two were big hits (LADY SINGS THE BLUES and MAHOGANY).  The third is passed off as a bomb and they achieve that lie by suppressing -- to this day -- the foreign box office.  Three films at a time when African-American actresses were not in high demand -- certainly not for studio films.  And Diana made the top twenty box office stars.

That's a film achievement.  

There's more.

Diana was the first African-American woman to co-host the Academy Awards presentation -- back in April of 1974.  She again co-hosted in 1985.  Please note that Bob Hope, who hosted the Academy Awards many times, actually got the honorary award we're talking about twice.  Twice.  

A singer as well as an actress, she recorded "Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)" -- Gerry Goffin and Michael Masser's Academy Award nominated "Best Original Song." Another song she recorded, with Lionel Richie, was also nominated for "Best Original Song" -- "Endless Love." As a singer, she performed at the 1976, 1982, 1985 and 1990 Academy Award presentations.  And she presented an award at the 1973, 1979 and 1981 ceremonies.

With fifteen Grammy nominations (two wins), three Golden Globe nominations (one win), a BAFTA Best Actress film nomination and a Tony award, Diana Ross has received much critical applause in her lifetime. 

But she's overdue for an honorary Academy Award.  She's acted in films, she's sang on numerous soundtracks ("If We Hold On Together" from THE LAND BEFORE TIME, "The Happening" from the film of the same name, "Dr. Goldfoot & The Bikini Machine" to name three more).  She's performed and presented repeatedly at the Academy Award ceremonies.  

Give the artist her flowers already. 



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