by Maria Lloyd
Working with the African-American demographic can be quite challenging for persons who have no real understanding of the culture. When an African-American is tapped to play the leading role in a film, for example, there may be controversy surrounding the decision because the actor isn’t light enough or dark enough or simply ‘black’ enough. On the other hand, when an African-American is excluded from an opportunity to be in the spotlight, other African-Americans slam the coordinators of the opportunity and practically twist their arm to get an African-American to have the opportunity.
ESPN commentator Michael Wilbon was not pleased with the Academy Awards’ decision to hire Seth MacFarlane to host the 2013 Oscars. On Monday, while co-hosting “The Tony Kornheiser Show,” an ESPN radio show, Wilbon took the opportunity to slam Seth MacFarlane and question whether or not the Awards Academy was tired of having famous African-Americans host the awards ceremony. “I don’t like him,” Wilbon said of MacFarlane. “Why is he there? He’s not worthy of being there.” Milbon continued: “They got tired of famous black people, so they got to get a white guy — affirmative action Academy Awards host? Is that what this is about? Really? I don’t like MacFarlane. He is a joke. He is not worthy of the people that were up there last night.” The last African-American Oscars hosts were Chris Rock in 2005 and Whoopi Goldberg in 2001.
Some speculate Wilbon may have been jesting, but if he is not, it certainly poses the question of how should mainstream media interact with the African-American demographic. At some point, the decision may be made to exclude African-Americans altogether, thus forcing the community to come together to create their own opportunities on their own platforms.
You can listen to the audio yourself here.