September 9, 2013
Oprah’s Oscar Buzz and Hollywood’s ‘Sassy Black Lady’ Problem

There is a lot of awards buzz for Oprah Winfrey’s triumphant return to the big screen as Gloria Gaines in The Butler. With critics praising her role as Forest Whitaker’s character’s wife, Oscar bloggers declaring her the early front-runner for Best Supporting Actress, and even President Obama being moved to tears by her performance, the queen of talk may be positioned to claim her second Academy Award (she has an honorary Oscar for humanitarian work). That The Butler topped the box office for three weeks doesn’t hurt her chances either.
A win for her would be deserved—she’s wonderful in the film. But it’d also be the latest example of what seems to be a Hollywood maxim: Black women only get the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress when they play characters who confirm the stereotype of the Sassy Black Lady—bold, sharp-tongued, impertinent.
Read more. [Image: The Weinstein Company]

Oprah’s Oscar Buzz and Hollywood’s ‘Sassy Black Lady’ Problem

There is a lot of awards buzz for Oprah Winfrey’s triumphant return to the big screen as Gloria Gaines in The Butler. With critics praising her role as Forest Whitaker’s character’s wife, Oscar bloggers declaring her the early front-runner for Best Supporting Actress, and even President Obama being moved to tears by her performance, the queen of talk may be positioned to claim her second Academy Award (she has an honorary Oscar for humanitarian work). That The Butler topped the box office for three weeks doesn’t hurt her chances either.

A win for her would be deserved—she’s wonderful in the film. But it’d also be the latest example of what seems to be a Hollywood maxim: Black women only get the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress when they play characters who confirm the stereotype of the Sassy Black Lady—bold, sharp-tongued, impertinent.

Read more. [Image: The Weinstein Company]

  1. brittnaythebookworm reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    i just finished watching The Butler and it is one of the best films that i have ever seen
  2. angelsscream reblogged this from notime4yourshit
  3. notime4yourshit reblogged this from youcantroamwithoutcaesar
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  9. lionessnat reblogged this from blackgirlstalking and added:
    LOVED this movie. She needs to WIN.
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  12. norcalchicana reblogged this from blackgirlstalking and added:
    Yes!
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