The 1990s were a steady stream of rejection from broadcast agents who said, "I wouldn't know what to do with you" and network producers asking if I even knew anything about films when I sought auditions for film reviewer/entertainment contributor spots. This was, I always learned, because they never, ever took time to watch my demo reel or read my resume before I showed up. I could never get an audition for CBS Sunday. An ABC News producer thought I was just "a funny man-on-the-street local news guy." I pushed for an audition and booked a weekly film critic spot on Lifetime TV for ABC News in 2000.
This year when the Oscar nominations were announced, Cagle and Connelly totally missed that Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis's co-star from THE HELP, tied with Viola in Oscar nominations. They have three each. They also missed that, with Mary J. Blige being a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee for her rich dramatic performance in Dee Rees' remarkable MUDBOUND, that makes Dee Rees the first African American woman to direct an actor to an Oscar nomination.
I ain't lyin'. I've been seeking steady work for six years now. I'd have given anything to be in those Oscar segments on GMA.
The point is the playing field has not been level. And, in the arts -- whether making them or talking about them -- it should be. Look for stars of BLACK PANTHER next week on GOOD MORNING AMERICA.
On Wednesday in Hollywood, Rob Reiner received the Stanley Kramer Award for Social Justice from...the African American Film Critics Association. Acting awards went to Frances McDormand for THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI, Daniel Kaluuya for GET OUT, Tiffany Haddish for GIRLS TRIP and Laurence Fishburne for LAST FLAG FLYING. Did you hear about that on the news? Did you know there was an African American Film Critics Association? There you have it. Thanks for your attention. And check out that cover story in TIME Magazine about the revolutionary power of BLACK PANTHER. Representation matters. www.TIME.com.