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As the veil began lifting, I started to see that award shows are an integral cog in a misogynistic media machine driven by capitalism. And it started to make me sick.

When I was young and an aspiring actress all I wanted was to have my work honored at an awards show one day. This fairy tale was part self-care, an escape from a dysfunctional home life as well as the difficulties of being a biracial Third Culture Kid constantly negotiating worlds. It was also part revenge against people who bullied me and told me I’d never be worth anything. More importantly than all that, fame was a means to an end: celebrity offers an instant platform, and once I became a successful actress, my ultimate goals were to be a writer and eventual philanthropist. Being famous was an aspiration in itself, but it was my road to being able to promote social consciousness and be beneficial to the world other than just my bank account and accruing material possessions.  I ended up dropping my theatre major and instead focused on anthropology, deciding I would be a writer from the get-go instead of hoping for a celebrity platform to jump-start my writing career. But even though I gave up my silver screen dreams, each year I would strap in for the opulent displays of "award season" no matter where in the world I might have been watching from.
Related: THE GOLDEN AGE OF TV DOESN’T BEGIN OR END WITH WHITE MEN

Hattie McDaniel's legacy goes beyond her roles, she chipped away at racism in Hollywood by simply existing and making room for herself.

If Ms. Hattie McDaniel was still with us, she would have been 122 years old, and she would probably be flawless. Today is her birthday and she needs to be celebrated.  For those of you who don't know who Hattie McDaniel is, she is the first woman of color to be nominated and win an Academy Award in 1940 for her role as Mammy in Gone With the Wind. The Mammy trope is one that is ubiquitous with racist America, it is present in pop culture as well as marketing. Hell, she is the original Aunt Jemima before they gave her a jerry curl afro and dentures. [caption id="attachment_46279" align="alignnone" width="400"] Gone with the Wind (1939)
Directed by Victor Fleming
Shown from left: Vivien Leigh, Hattie McDaniel[/caption] The Mammy trope is represented as a thick, dark skinned Black woman who spends her time doting on a white family. She is a magnificent cook, a great listener, subservient in her spirit and she can probably sing a mean spiritual. The Mammy trope is non-sexual – as opposed to the Black Jezebel trope – but she has kids of her own. She doesn’t have the time to give them the attention they deserve because she is forced to take care of the white family she is bound to.  If it were up to just Hollywood, the Mammy trope would be Hattie's legacy. Fuck that. Hattie was a boss.
Related: “MOONLIGHT” DESERVED BETTER

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