The Slap Heard ‘Round the World

“Imagine this little girl in the backseat of a white Ford Focus. 
Look into her eyes – you see a queer, openly queer woman of color. 
An Afro-Latina, who found her strength in life through art. 
And that’s what I believe we’re here to celebrate.  So to anybody who has
ever questioned your identity, ever, ever, ever, or find yourself
living in the grey spaces, I promise you this – there is, indeed, a place for us.
 
Ariana DeBose makes history winning the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for West Side Story.

Another year, another Academy Awards.  At least this one kinda resembled the Oscars.  It’s hard not to love an internationally televised award show that starts by mentioning one of my best friends.  Wanda Sykes made a joke that one of the honorary honorees had never done a rom-com.  And she came up with the only actress who could hold her own opposite Samuel L. Jackson Jenifer Lewis.  Even in absentia, Miss Lewis steals the show.  That is, until the camera panned to Timothée Chalamet – sporting an outfit nearly identical to what two of Liza Minnelli’s husbands wore on their wedding day!  They would have loved him…I mean it!  Speaking of Liza, I bet most of you thought the next time you’d see her at an Oscars would be during the In Memoriam.  How wrong you were… although this was close.  Shades of Elizabeth exclaiming, Gladiator!  Or Faye and La La Land!  Don’t get me wrong – I love Liza as much as…well, as much as those gay men she married.  But this bordered on elder abuse.

Most of the women looked good.  With all the exposed skin and boobage (but enough about Timothée), most of the gals looked like extras in a Bain de Soleil commercial!  And speaking of boobage…I believe Shawn Mendes may be scarred enough to finally give up women for good.  Like me, he appeared positively horrified.

The technical people were working overtime.  During the monologue, Wanda said, “For you people in Florida, we’re gonna have a gay night,” and then the three hosts kept saying “Gay” (and note this was on ABC – a Disney-owned network).  While the audience applauded, the cameramen panned to a smiling Denzel, an applauding Spielberg, and a very uncomfortable-looking Travolta!  They quickly jumped to a jubilant Nicole Kidman, who has lots of experience saying “Gay”!  On that subject, special congrats to Jessica Chastain, not only for her win but her using her brief time on stage to speak on behalf of the LGBTQ community – particularly LGBTQ youth.

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I have a few things to say about the most talked-about moment of the Oscars.  Of all the jokes that could have been made, GI Jane 2 is the least offensive.  And when you think about it, it’s actually a compliment…’cause you’re implying Jada Pinkett Smith could carry a film!  For those of you who didn’t see it (the uncensored clip is on BillyMasters.com), let me recap.  Will Smith jumped on stage, stalked over to Chris Rock, and slapped him.  A slap?  Really?  Calm down, gurl.  Even Chris seemed surprised.  “Wow.  Will Smith just smacked the shit out of me.”  Will then said, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.”  I believe Chris and I thought of the same quick retort – which was about things going into mouths.  Rock wisely kept his mouth shut.  But this begs the question – where were the bouncers?  Because I can tell you from experience, that’s the Oscars’ fault.  I’ve performed in hundreds of venues, and if an audience member took a step towards me – as many have – the club’s goons would be on you before you got your club foot on the club stage.  Learn your craft, Academy!

 

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