Following the decision to boycott this year’s Academy Awards, prominent African American celebrities now see the need to establish an alternative ceremony to duly honour and acknowledge the performance of fellow actors. The idea is rapidly taking shape, and a tentative date has already been selected for the first-ever non-discriminatory ceremony: 30 February.
The organisers have emphasized that the new event will not be copying the Oscars: to ensure a fair and objective procedure, a fundamentally new approach will be taken. As stated by one of the jurors, Spike Lee:
Ain’t nobody making a cheap dupe of the Oscars – this ain’t China. This shit right here gon’ be original.
Judging by what has come to light so far, the event will indeed by one of a kind. After an intensive brainstorming, jury members have agreed on a suitable name for the event: contrary to the Oscar, which according to the jurors sounded like a name of a ‘privileged white heterosexual employed man’, the choice fell on a name that the minorities could identify with: Shaniqua.
Further, to correct the historic injustice done to actors of colour over the years, the nominations will not be limited to just films released in the past year. In fact, there will be no time limit at all: any African American, African British, or African African actor, dead or alive, can be nominated for the award, if need be, several times. The jury is currently compiling their own registry of eligible actors, referred to as the ‘N-list’.
This year’s award nominees include Will Smith for ‘Concussion’, Marlon Wayans for ‘Fifty Shades of Black’, and Caleb Castille for ‘Woodlawn’. The nomination of Robert Downey Jr. for having played Kirk Lazarus in ‘Tropic Thunder’ has proven to be more controversial, though being commended by Leonardo diCaprio. The latter, however, may be guided by ulterior motives, having just signed the contract for the portrayal of Louis Armstrong.
The Shaniquas have without doubt caused quite a stir in Hollywood – the next step will be a very own Walk of Fame, set to be located in Compton.