Intro Comp: Writing as Inquiry
12 October 2016
In an interview between Robin Roberts and Will Smith, they discuss the problems in the movie industry. Specifically noting how they feel about African American representation in film. Smith, in 2015, performed as Dr. Bennet Omalu in the Emmy Award winning film Concussion. Smith began to stir up controversy about his representation when his film Concussion was snubbed from any Oscar nominations. Some say it was an act of racism while others say that his film just wasn’t good enough. In an argument and an eventual boycott, Will Smith expresses his sadness of how the career field he chose is beginning to go downhill. Smith says that every American Dream is different, but for an African American, it is much harder to obtain.
The context of this film is rather simple. The interview was prompted because Will Smith feels that the beauty of America is its diversity, but with the Academy Awards being racist, there is no way that the idea of the American Diversity can be possible. Smith claims that the nominations are reflected by the academy and the academy is reflected by the film industry. The Film industry reflects America. If the academy can’t give equal opportunity, then America will never have equal opportunity.
The audience of this film is fairly specific, but very noteworthy. Obviously, those of color is his main audience. However, Smith’s target audience is anybody who is of minority roots, specifically kids. He feels that children are only going to fall under the white superiority of film and create an even more racist future if they aren’t aware of what is happening. Additionally, any person who watches the Oscars needs to be aware of how people in the industry feel. As a result, every US citizen should be in audience to Will Smith, he feels racism is not gone.
The purpose of this interview is to raise awareness, promote dissent, and offer change to Hollywood. Smith wants people to realize how the Academy Awards are corrupt. He hopes the Oscar’s realize he is not happy in the direction they tend to go. Will Smith wants them to understand that he is speaking for the entire Oscar snubbed group and people of color.
The point of view of this interview is that Smith is against the Oscars, but I think the most important thing to note is his tone during the interview. Smith never raises his voice or expresses anger. Instead he says his points in a very structured and succinct manner. The voice at which he speaks is stern toned and opinionated, but it doesn’t speak negatively. In addition to Smith, it should also be noted that Robin Roberts is the one conducting the interview. She is African American as well. Together, they both seem to have the same opinion. I feel if it were a white person conducting the interview the verbiage would be much different and tension would be greater. As the interview comes to a close, Smith wants to be known as the one to speak out and speak for his followers and people of color.
After watching the interview and analyzing its CAPP, I applaud Will Smith. I don’t agree with what he speaks for. However, I do agree with how he handled it. Smith took the matter into his own hands, acted civil, and simply chose not to attend the Oscars. It is a personal decision of his, and if people chose to follow him then great. As for me, I plan to continue to watch the Oscars regardless of ethnicity as the academy is instructed to vote for the best film; I trust that the academy will do just that.