Besides "money," the word "opportunity" may just be the hardest working word in show business. Everybody says they need it, many more claim they have been denied it, some squander it, others misuse it or fail to take advantage of it. In some cases, like with my friend Lindsay Lohan who will be off probation in a week or so, opportunity is now set to knock twice. Just two weeks since the Grammys and tonight we are buzzing about the Oscars. The accolades are flying and the nominations have been made and decided. The question is, do we accept the winner or are there just a lot of different opinions and support basis simply giving a few people a chance "on deck?" Either way, the glitz and glamour of the Oscars is seen around the globe, sparking the imagination of future winners and the dreams of many.
Today, we live in a global community; one that is primarily about movements such as the wildfire sparked in Egypt by one woman on a computer, which then set a revolutionary domino effect into play. The present debate on whether Olivia Spencer and Viola Davis should be receiving awards for playing out the role of maids in "The Help" is not a movement but an argument. We heard the same outcry when Halle Barry got an Oscar for "Monster's Ball" and Denzel Washington for his role in "Training Day." I hear that point. It was clear to me about the acceptance of people of color, when in "Boys in the Hood" Ice Cube said the line "Either they don't know, they don't show, or they don't care about what is going on in the hood." I personally understand that America can never live up to its "true value" until it learns the "economy of us."
But, with that said, are we really looking for actors "playing a role" to do the job of a people? Reality is, if we want these sisters playing a better role or making better points then we should write it, fund it and get behind it. Years ago, Magic Johnson made a move to put his line of theaters across the country. But where is the "Michael Jordan Film Company" to compliment it? I have seen Oscars, Grammys and Championship rings sitting on the shelves of upper scale pawnshops, so I am not much worried about the current Oscar debates. Civil Rights advocate Walter Reuther once said, "When there is hatred in the heart there is no reasoning in the head." One of the responsibilities to winning is "proper preparation." If Olivia Spencer has put in her proper "preparation" for the role she played, let us not minimize her victory because we can't reason in "our head" that she received an opportunity based on a reality of a pain we don't want to face.
When I see the Oscars, I take note that at the end of every interview, the question is asked "Who are you wearing?" The replies are laced with the names of designers from all over the world. Yet, like the brother Hill Harper said recently "You can't be free, if the cost of being you is too high." As for me, wherever I am called to pick up my Gold Statue, what I will be "wearing" is the dreams of those who have yet to make it there. This week I am on my way to Boston to see Darrell Jones (aka DJ 3rd Eye) and to see what can be done to help shine some light on Boston and Providence's film and hip hop community. I will be holding a showing of my Award-winning short "Hollywood Jerome" as well as looking for talent for my upcoming feature film. Guess you could say I am looking to take it to the streets and see how many awards from the Academy of "Hard Knocks" we can give out! Let us always be mindful that it is not always where you're from, but where you're at (mentally and spiritually that matters). Me, I am always with the people!