Are Black Award Celebrations Trying To Tell Us Something?Episode 7
With awards season officially over after the 95th Academy Awards, do consumers of Black film, TV and streaming content, as well as those who create it, have reason to be happy? Boss Ross has the answer.
FULL TRANSCRIPT BELOW:
You are now listening to TheGrios black podcast network, black culture amplified.
Hi, I’m Kevin Ross. And this is the podcast, Are Black Awards celebrations trying to tell us something?
Before I even get into the substance of this podcast. I gotta set the table. So first awards season, what is it? Award season is that period in Hollywood leading up to and including the annual Love Fest for the film and television industries. We’re talking the Golden Globe Awards, the Screen Actor and Director’s Guild Awards, the Spirit Awards for Independent Films, the Primetime TV Emmys and, and not to mention all the parties. Oh man, they usually start around late fall and the season culminates with the Academy Awards around March. Okay. This year I attended the fifth annual Byron Allen Oscar Viewing Gala to benefit Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.
Now, Alan is CEO of Allen Media Group which owns and distributes my daytime show, America’s Court Judge Ross, other syndicated content, the weather channel and TheGrio . Of course, many of you know, all of this. I arrive to the Sunday March 12th event, get out the car. And first thing I do is make my way to the red carpet. Upon checking in, there’s a pre made sign displaying my name and picture.
After a few minutes, a woman walks ahead of me carrying the signs, so photographers impressed. They know who I am just in case it’s- trust me, never good to assume people recognize you. Wait, wait, hold on. I have to spend a minute on the outfit. I decided that I was going to sport a Chris Rock slap your face, blue velour dinner jacket. You with me?
With black velour pants and shoes, white studded tuxedo shirt, white pocket square, black bow tie. I was clean. And if you go to my WordPress website, I am Boss Ross. You can check out the look. Let me know if you dig it. Anyway, I found myself sharing the red carpet with Vivica A Fox, Judge Greg Mathis and his family, actress Yvette Nicole Brown and I’m not name dropping. I’m painting you a picture. If that’s all right. Stay with me, stay with me. You there? All right,
While I’m on the carpet. I end up speaking with a young man who actually interviewed me in 2020 when he was 11 years old. Of course, at 14, he’s practically eyeballing me now in terms of height and I speak with TheGrio folks as well. You know, of course, I’m gonna speak to TheGrio folks. They are the platform from my podcast. And finally at last, I’m actually able to go inside the venue, stepping in the place, the hotel, it’s packed, everybody’s looking sharp. It’s a who’s who of celebrities and industry folks.
The actual Oscars telecast has already started the champagne’s flowing, the hors d’oeuvres whizzing by on shiny silver platters. And you know, folks seem genuinely happy and upbeat.
Everything is just copasetic right? Now, Having attended this event in the past, this year hit different for some reason, there was audacity in the air. This gathering put on by Byron Allen, a brother, featuring quite a diverse audience, was still somehow uncompromisingly unapologetically black.
That 14 year old who interviewed me that I was previously mentioning he was white and so excited that he was able to come back and do this gig. Many of the people behind the lens and video cameras, they were white as well. And most of the servers during the course of the evening were Latinx.
I point all this out because sometimes when you’re fighting to be included, when you’re duking it out to make space at the table, it’s important to take time out, stop and smell the roses. Ladies and gentlemen, progress is being made. slowly? Yes, but surely?
Absolutely without question. Now, of course, there was a major disappointment in the room when Angela Bassett didn’t do the thing by being passed over in the Oscars supporting actress category for Black Panther two and trust, we all saw Angela’s reaction up close and personal and it spoke volumes and lit Twitter up.
But there was also robust extended applause everywhere. When Ruth Carter became the first black woman to have four nominations and two wins. That’s what’s up for her costume work in ‘Wakanda Forever’ outstanding. Thus, from my vantage point, the 2022, 2023 awards season was worth Commemorating. Talk to black folks who are actually in the business of show and often what you hear is there’s an abundance of work post Black Lives Matter. So that movement has not been in vain.
During award season, we’ve seen the NAACP image awards give a nod to ‘Black Panther’, ‘Abbot Elementary’, Donald Glover’s ‘Atlanta’ and ‘The Proud Family’. The American Black Film Festival honors that recently showcased Kerry Washington, Janelle Monae and Courtney Vance to name a few. Let’s acknowledge the African-American Film Critics Association who lauded Gina Prince-Bythewood for directing ‘The Woman King’, starring Viola Davis. AAFCA, saluted actress Danielle Deadwyler for her performance in ‘Till’ and recognized Will Smith and Antoine Fuqua for their bringing ‘Emancipation’ to theaters.
Even Essence Magazine’s 16th annual Black Women in Hollywood gathering, bestowed flowers on the likes of Freeform and Onyx collective President Tara Duncan and the incomparable Sheryl Lee Ralph. Why am I saying all this? What does all of this mean? For me it says we need to pat some folks on the back for their grind, make a call for everybody to continue to keep their eyes on the prize and let’s go get it. Tell our stories.
Broadcast our talent on bigger platforms. Fight for more mainstream advertisers and sponsors to fund our projects be the change we want and need to see. I mean, seriously, just look at us. There are now four groups led by African-Americans. Moguls, including Tyler Perry, Byron Allen, and most recently Sean P. Diddy Combs looking to buy from Paramount Global, Black Entertainment television, which includes BET plus VH1, BET studios, all of that. So it can be returned to being a majority black owned company.
I mean that is saying so much. So going back to the Oscar Gala, I was at on Sunday, it closed with the iconic legendary Diana Ross performing. She did not disappoint with her medley of number one hits Miss Ross opened with my personal favorite. “I’m coming out”. That song was released the beginning of my last year in high school.
It ended up being the theme song for us seniors, man. Good times. Despite it being over four decades ago, that jam should be the anthem for this latest renaissance black folks are experiencing when it comes to the arts because there is no need to fear. We just feel so good. Every time we hear “I’m coming out, I want the world to know time to let it show”.
Hey, we’re coming out. I’m Kevin Ross and this is The Podcast powered by TheGrio .
Follow me @IamBossRoss on Instagram and Twitter.
Thanks for listening.
See you next time.