This past week folks have been talking about Lady Gaga’s moving performance at the Oscars. Gaga’s nominated song“Till It Happens to You”is about rape and she shared the stage with survivors of sexual assault. I thought it was great that such an important issue was being spotlighted at the Oscars. But then I came across a poster who pointed out that Gaga worked with R.Kelly and did that undermine her current anti-rape culture stance?
Ah, yes. I had forgotten about that. The two singers collaborated on the r&b tune “Do What U Want” back in 2013. I guess it can be argued Gaga didn’t know about the statutory rape allegations against R.Kelly, but that is highly unlikely. The allegations/”jokes” have been swirling for years. Also, I’m sure celebrities have access to what goes on in the industry more than the public will ever know. So, it is curious that Gaga had no qualms working with R.Kelly. Does she not care about the victimization of black girls?
I did notice it was mostly white survivors on stage in clips I saw from the show. Maybe it was just a coincidence. Or perhaps Gaga, working from a white woman’s perspective when it comes to sexual assault, doesn’t know how to outreach to women of color on this issue. Gaga, like many white female celebrities, have been speaking out/supporting singer Kesha. Kesha accused a popular music producer of sexual abuse, but has been forced by the courts to continue working with him. I wonder if these same celebrities would be so quick to speak up if it were a black female singer in the same situation.
Double Meh. I understand the Oscars likes when folks play out of character/villains even. Denzel Washington has played some wonderful characters over his 20 year career (including Malcolm X), and yet he won an Oscar for the role of a corrupt cop.
I don’t begrudge these folks wins. As actresses/actors, I’m sure it’s an honor to win an Oscar, no matter what. It represents the highest level of achievement in their field. I just hope the future will bring diverse wins for black folks. 75 years from now, I don’t want a little black girl being happy that a black woman won for portraying a slave. But I ain’t holding my breath.