EDITORIAL: Black Oscars, not white ‘grace’, important

Neha Lobana
Life Editor

Jordan Horowitz is not a hero, despite what happened at the Oscars.

The 89th Academy Awards ceremony took place on Feb. 26 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and as usual it was filled with glitz and glam as the who’s who of Hollywood were all gathered together for one night.

However, as the night was coming to an end and the curtains were about to close, one final award needed to be handed out; the Oscar for best picture. There was much anticipation as this year the nominees were filled with highly acclaimed films: La La Land, Arrival, Lion, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures and Moonlight.

But this year, things didn’t go as planned as somehow the envelope handed to Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty – who were supposed to present and announce who won best picture – was the wrong one. Both Dunaway and Beatty announced that La La Land had won best picture while the envelope’s exterior read “Actress in a Leading Role.”

After the entire cast of La La Land appeared on stage and some of the cast members made a few speeches, a runner appeared on stage as those in charge of the award show realized they screwed up. This prompted La La Land’s producer, Jordan Horowitz to step up to the mic and reveal that it was all a mistake and that Moonlight had actually won best picture.

Not only was Moonlight’s moment taken away at a critical milestone for both the black and LGBT communities – the film deals with three life stages of a gay, African-American man — but people have decided to take things a step further by putting the spotlight on Horowitz by naming him a “hero” for what he did.

The term hero is far too bold for Horowitz’s act – it was simply the right thing to do. He did what many of us are taught at a young age and that is to accept defeat with grace. A rather far stretch from being “heroic”.

Many took to social media and said Horowitz should be Time magazine’s “Man of the Year” while some media outlets such as the Boston Globe headlined their story as, “Every generation needs a hero, and 36-year-old “La La Land” producer Jordan Horowitz might just be ours.”

Urban planner, Marcus Bush responded to the Boston Globe on Twitter and said, “White privilege is when you are exalted as a Hero for simply returning an award you didn’t earn in the 1st place.”

Similarly, writer for Jezebel, Rachel Vorona Cote tweeted “You *know* that Jordan Horowitz is interviewing all over the place and being treated as a white savior,” while political correspondent for the Washington Post, Dave Weigel tweeted “Indeed, how can we make the triumph of a black director and cast a story about the graciousness of white people.”

In hindsight, Jordan Horowitz is not a hero and that should not be the focus of what occurred at the Oscars. Rather, what should be celebrated and remembered from this year’s awards is the monumental win for African-American actors and the LGBT community.

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  1. Black Oscars, not white ‘grace’, important – Neha Lobana

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