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Here’s The Reason Why “Bridesmaids” Can Be an Awards Darling, While “Girls Trip” Is Rejected
Yes, I’m sure you know exactly where this is going, but it’s really not as simple as you think. The climate at the moment seems to be righteously in favor of lifting up Black women in recognition of their selfless dedication to always doing the right thing.
This stems from the celebratory tone that descended when politician and attorney Doug Jones of Alabama, defeated alleged pedophile and proud bigot Roy Moore in the most tense Senate race ever in history. Despite the bloated efforts of our Commander-in-Chief in all his wilted glory — the results were not in his favor.
Based on the graph that has been making its rounds all over social media — it seems that once again — Black men and particularly Black women were wholly responsible for the blessed outcome. And just like the election that bequeathed us a White supremacist, belligerent fellow as president — White women were also more than generous with their votes for another horrific replicant.
The ongoing parade of praises for Black women on Twitter is gaining traction as the retweets and quotes asking for less talk and more action continue to blaze the landscape, but we all know that the noise will soon fade into a whisper.
White women gave us Donald Trump and they almost repeated their nasty habit, but thankfully the grace of God or whatever mighty spirit we call upon for reinforcement — intervened and saved us from the hellish nightmare we don’t deserve. And even though emerging victorious in battles that are stressfully prolific is worth a major shoutout — we can’t ignore the source of our discontent.
White women versus Black women has been a constant equation that’s still pending based on the evidence that suggests how White women are constantly given the opportunity to be emotionally vulnerable at the expense of their darker-skinned counterparts — who have to contend with stereotypical labelings and the realization of our devalued status.
Even as we’re hailed for helping to enhance the look of our almost terminal nation — those that are impressed with our stellar showing — can’t help heaping descriptions that solidify our “superhuman” strength which wouldn’t be a problem if it were actually true.
Black women aren’t made of steel and we can’t just take flight whenever the bat signal lights up. We’re not immune to the emotions that White women are able to display with ease for a readily alert audience. We aren’t able to flawlessly walk away from death scenes in our vehicles without the residue of horror imprinted on our heart for eternity. Our skin layers aren’t thicker or more capable of accommodating the violence of police officers towards us as punishment for our stoic disposition.
Black women are just as human as the White women who have no qualms supporting devilish figures in our midst — the only difference is the subject of conscience and the desperation to protect ourselves from the systematic terrors that are bestowed on our community — daily.
But, its not all bad in our hood. And if there’s one area where that’s apparent — it’s entertainment.
Even though the industry at large has done a magnificent job validating the worth of White women and the prototypes that closely resemble the established default — we can’t deny the current movement that was evoked from the arrival of #OscarsSoWhite and the up and coming filmmakers and TV showrunners who are dedicated to the mission of showcasing the stories that are waiting to be told.
White actresses continuously enjoy the privilege of being ingenues — before graduating to esteemed careers that never waver — due to the unrelenting demand of studio execs who are driven by the appeal of guaranteed profits.
And that’s why the discarding of Girls Trip — a delightful comedy that shattered the summer box office of 2017 — by becoming a bona fide hit due to the amazing all-Black cast and the star-making efforts of standout — Tiffany Haddish — is the ultimate rule book on how Hollywood religiously refuses to acknowledge the undeniable appeal of Black actresses.
When Bridesmaids made its splash back in the spring of 2011 — I was just as entertained as the legions of fans who helped secure the film’s success — both at home and abroad.
It wasn’t hard to fathom how well it was received when you consider the cast of attractive and whimsical White women — delightfully spouting out their witty lines — against the backdrop of a script — conceived by leading lady Kristin Wiig, under the direction of veteran Paul Feig and with Judd Apatow as co-producer.
Names mean a lot in Hollywood — and just like politics — you have to be surrounded by a popular gang in order to reap any returns. In the case of Bridesmaids — you could almost smell the scent of success even before the awards circuit validated our expectations.
The critically-acclaimed offering went on to receive notable nominations — including a Golden Globe nod for Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy, and scene stealer, Melissa McCarthy “was nominated for the 2012 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, and Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role.”
We are now in the middle of another awards season and as the announcements pour in — we are forced to reckon with the surprises and disappointments. It’s not hard to sort out the fact that as always — White Hollywood dominates the roster of talent being feted for their outstanding work. They get majority of the roles, which allows for better visibility in domestic and foreign markets.
It will take extreme measure for talents of color to catch up to their White counterparts in the film world. But that doesn’t mean accomplishing such a feat is impossible, in fact we’re on our way to the top when you consider the upcoming projects waiting for release — including the ones in the pipeline.
In the meantime — we have Girls Trip, which basically rivals the glory of it’s predecessor Bridesmaids with outstanding performances across the board and the breakout star who also deserved to be feted in the exact same way Melissa McCarthy was singled out.
So far, the film and Haddish have been denied entry and this hasn’t gone unnoticed by those who give a damn — including actress and co-star Jada Pinkett Smith — who took to Twitter to vent about Hollywood’s predictably stringent stance when it comes to giving Black talents the opportunities that are so enthusiastically afforded White Hollywood.
If Bridesmaids could inspire voters to propel it to heights that far surpassed modest predictions — why can’t that honor be given to another hit movie with similar themes and the star-in-the-making — waiting for the spotlight she’s more than earned?
It’s because of the issue of race and how that plays out in the imaginations of an elite community that can’t accept the viability of Black actresses who are also able to astutely convey human emotions that are relatable and charmingly touching to internalize.
Girls Trip was a blast from start to finish and not at all steeped in historical fare or the treacherous narrative that usually appeal to White voters who are more comfortable watching Precious or 12 Years a Slave than a robust comedy about a group of Black women who go on a road trip to repair their fraying bond — and end up having the time of their lives.
That’s not even a logline worth exploring for a community that still has a difficult time releasing their biases when vetting options that aren’t considered the norm.
So as a result, we are stuck with the unfair realization that Bridesmaids can be a awards darling, while Girls Trip is rejected due to the fact that the stars in one of those films happen to be Black, which automatically renders them invisible and not at all noteworthy — regardless of stellar reviews and winning box office receipts.
It’s White women versus Black women — all day — everyday — and even those in power are aware — as they continue to push the initiatives of the ones who always get what they want — no matter what.
Yes its just a damn movie at the end of the day — but then the bigger picture tends to prove that it’s a lot more complex than industry competition. It’s the constant reminder of how carelessly Black women are treated — even when our version is actually the best.
It’s really all a Trip!