From the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite to the seemingly endless stream of famous actors and directors speaking out about lack of opportunities and recognition of people of color in Hollywood, this year’s Academy Awards have been a lightning rod for our country’s problem with excluding people of color. That said, there’s nothing like a four-hour, star-studded awards show to bring your girlfriends together around the television for a night of drinking, feasting, and fun! So should you, an American white lady, throw that Oscars party you’ve been dreaming of all year, or stand in solidarity with those who have been denied opportunities because of their race? We’ve broken down the top pros and cons:
Party Pro: Fashion!
From the red carpet to center stage, Hollywood’s starlets will be wearing some of the hottest styles by some of the chicest designers. If you don’t watch, how will you know what Ryan Seacrest thought of Kate Winslet’s side-swept hairdo? How will you weigh in on the question of whether Jennifer Aniston’s arms looked better than Sandra Bullock’s, or which of the all-white females nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress wore the best lip shade? How?!
Party Con: Alienating Jess
Then again, it’s possible that your friend Jess could feel alienated by your choice to celebrate an awards show that claims to honor the best and brightest of Hollywood while in fact actually just being a parade of porcelain-faced dolls and men who pretty much all just look like different versions of Matt Damon. So don’t be shocked if you get a “Thanks but no thanks!” RSVP from friends across the racial spectrum who’d rather not spend their night clapping for a bunch of white people for doing their jobs more whitely than their non-white counterparts.
Protest Pro: You Could Watch Something Else
On the other hand, you could always say “To hell with the Oscars” and spend the night watching a movie with some people of color in it, then discuss the cultural, economic, and social divides that persist in this country when it comes to race, while still ingesting the same amount of wine and hummus that you would if you were watching Giuliana Rancic insult someone’s hair. Bonding with friends over a shared concern for social justice and meaningful representation in media might just be even more fulfilling than hearing Cate Blanchet thank the white man who “gave her the opportunity to tackle” whichever “complex and meaningful role” she was nominated for this time. Is it Woody Allen again?
Protest Con: Missing J. Law’s Latest “OMG!” Moment
Okay, but here’s the thing—talking about diversity is all well and good, but you know J. Law is gonna do something charmingly oddball, like roll a blunt on camera or make fart noises into the microphone. Are you prepared to miss out on that in real time? And what if Leo finally wins that little golden man? Do you want to miss that beautiful little manchild blubbering like a baby, thanking all his beautiful white model ex-girlfriends and “Marty” for all the love and support they’ve given him through the years? Is that a risk you’re willing to take?! Is it?!
In the end, the decision is up to you. Party or protest, Hollywood’s an indomitable sea of white privilege where actors of color can’t even get nominated for starring in a movie where their white supporting actor does, women get paid less than men for similar roles, and gay and transgender characters are still played almost exclusively by straight, cisgender actors. We’re pretty confident that you not watching the Oscars will affect the nomination process about as much as that Facebook post you wrote about how Amy Schumer was totally snubbed for not getting a nomination for Trainwreck, which is to say, maybe a little!