A study of the roles that have earned black men Best Actor nominations reveals that this is a historical problem. […]
Sidney Poitier won in 1963 for playing a black itinerant worker in “Lilies of the Field,” a movie based on a novel by the same name. Jamie Foxx won in 2004 for playing Ray Charles in “Ray,” and Forest Whitaker won in 2006 for playing Idi Amin in “The Last King of Scotland.” The only black man to win Best Actor for a role that could have been played by a white actor is Denzel Washington, who won in 2001 for his turn as a LAPD detective in “Training Day.”
That’s one man over 85 years of Academy Awards. […]
Hollywood is even worse at including women of color in award-winning performances, (Halle Berry is the only black woman to ever win the Oscar for Best Actress, in a “Monster’s Ball” role with a complex and controversial relationship with race), and this year’s Emmys were a shockingly white-male affair. “12 Years,” “The Butler,” “Fruitvale” and “Mandela” all cleared an extra hurdle: they are are all independently financed films that were created without the interest or fiscal support of the major movie studios.
True equality in the Best Actor race doesn’t mean only rewarding black men in roles white men could never play. Instead, we’ll know when Hollywood casting directors and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences view people of color as deserving of equal opportunities to shine when a black man in the role of a fictional caring father, son, teacher, student, doctor, author or otherwise non-racially coded character is nominated for and wins Best Actor.
Until then, however, let’s raise a glass to this year’s class of outstanding performers, because maybe, just maybe their success in this year’s awards rat race will jostle the shamefully whitewashed powers that be within the industry. Forgive me for not getting my hopes up.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the federal agency responsible for granting trademarks, said in a letter that it would not issue a trademark to “Redskins Hog Rinds” because the word “Redskin” is considered “derogatory.”
"Registration is refused because the applied-for mark REDSKINS HOG RINDS consists of or includes matter which may disparage or bring into contempt or disrepute persons, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols," the letter read. The letter also cited online dictionary definitions of the word that say "Redskin" is a "dated" and "offensive" term used to refer to Native Americans.