Yesterday, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences was given way too much credit for having what has been deemed the most diverse group of acting nominees for the Emmys ever. Yes, unforgivable snub of Constance Wu for her work on Fresh Off The Boat notwithstanding, it is a good thing that the Emmys are being more inclusive. However, that’s how it’s “post to be” so let’s not give them a round of applause (or make that ass clap) for doing something they should’ve been doing for decades. That said, I would like to thank the Academy for getting one thing especially right: recognizing the brilliance of the visual component to Beyoncé’s celebrated sixth album, Lemonade.
Lemonade received four Emmy nominations including Outstanding Variety Special, Outstanding Picture Editing For A Variety Production, and Outstanding Production Design For A Variety, Nonfiction, Event, or Award Special. Beyoncé has been netted Emmy nods in the past, for her 2013 Super Bowl halftime show and her “On The Run Tour” HBO special. If there is a God, she’s probably pissed Yoncé didn’t win the one for the Super Bowl, though I fully anticipate the King to score at least one win for her Lemonade film. (If not, expect people like me to be using a lot of bee emojis and cursing out the Academy.)
So, you know what that means? Beyoncé is one step closer to becoming an EGOT. Only 12 entertainers can boast claims of winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. Of those, only four are women, and only one is a Black woman (Whoopi Goldberg). Already, there are stories of how both Beyoncé and Adele are one step closer. Now, while I will concede that Adele’s 2013 Oscar win for the theme to the James Bond film, Skyfall, puts her a wee bit ahead of Houston’s finest in the race, I still think Beyoncé has the better chance of becoming an EGOT first.
And since I’m already talking that cash money s**t, I’d like to reiterate that I believe Beyoncé is a decent actress. Has she chosen terrible roles? Sure, but you know what will fix that? Recently, the New York Times published the article “What Does the Academy Value in a Black Performance?”
In it, writer Brandon K. Thorp noted: “Consider: In the history of the Oscars, 10 black women have been nominated for best actress, and nine of them played characters who are homeless or might soon become so.” Thorp also wrote: “Nearly every black best-actress nominee has faced a similar plight, right up through Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012), in which Quvenzhané Wallis played a little girl about to lose her home to a flood. No black woman has ever received a best-actress nomination for portraying an executive or even a character with a college degree.”
Last year, Beyoncé was reportedly taking acting lessons and carefully searching for an “iconic role.” I’d like to believe Hollywood, and subsequently, the Academy, will evolve with time, but I live in America, thus, won’t hold my breath. That means all she has to do is play into Hollywood’s little fixation with Black pathology and – boom – she’s like Halle Berry and doing something to make me feel good.
Read the rest at VH1.