And the Oscar Goes to…

When Octavia Spencer won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress last night, I thought this blog had written itself. All I needed to do was list the names and roles of black women who had won Oscars, make a few comments about some very obvious things, and keep it moving. However, Meryl Streep’s shocking win over the presumed winner of the Best Actress award, Viola Davis, threw a bit of a wrinkle in that plan.

I’ve made it very clear that I was neither in support of The Help nor black actresses only being awarded for their craft when they reinvigorate old stereotypes that are both problematic and troublesome. I wonder, though, how many understand Davis’ unexpected loss. It seems like there are a few ways to interpret it:

The Real Housewives of The Help Go to Africa

Hollywood is so full of liberal do-gooders always on the cutting edge. As such, in advance of Black History Month, they have bestowed many acting awards upon members of the cast of The Help, namely Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, who both won SAG Awards last night.

Perhaps it was because the embarrassingly entertaining Real Housewives of Atlanta happened to be arguing about how to properly acknowledge one another at the mall at the same time the SAG Awards aired, but Twitter responses to Marlo’s desire to eat some African (it’s a country, you know) food like fish (what she order?/fish filet?) were briefly interrupted by folks going on and on about the greatness of Viola Davis’ acceptance speech. My allegiances are to RHOA, so I googled the speech. Davis looked really nice (those Bassett-esque arms!). Her professional community gave her a standing ovation. She talked about dreams. Shouted out Cicely Tyson and Meryl Streep.