Entertainment

It’s 2019 And Hollywood Finally Awarded An Oscar To A Native American For The First Time

In 1973, Marlon Brando famously declined his Oscar for his role in “The Godfather,” to take a stance against Hollywood’s treatment of Native Americans. Actor and activist, Sacheen Littlefeather famously went on stage to refuse the award on Brando’s behalf at the ceremony. It’s only taken a mere 46 years since that day, but this year, a Native American actor finally received the recognition he deserves and was awarded an Oscar for his talent. 

Hollywood’s complicated relationship with Native Americans goes back to the industry’s earliest movies set in the Wild West.

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Sacheen Littlefeather respectfully declining an Oscar on behalf of Marlon Brando, 1973. He was nominated for his role in The Godfather. He declined the award because of the unfair treatment of Native Americans in the film industry. Sacheen, president of the National Native American Affirmative Image Committee, was sent in his place to adress the problems going on, why Brando declined the award and delivered a beautiful speech. Marlon Brando: “I don’t think that people generally realise what the motion picture industry has done to the American Indian, as a matter of fact, all ethnic groups, all minorities, all non-whites. And people just simply don’t realise, just take it for granted that that’s the way people are going to be presented and these clichés are just, I mean on this network every night, well perhaps not every night, but you can see silly renditions of human behaviour, the leering Filipino houseboy, the wily Japanese, the kook or the gook, black man, stupid Indian. It just goes on and on. And people actually don’t realise how deeply people are injured by seeing themselves represented, not so much the adults, who are already injured to that kind of pain and pressure, but children. Indian children seeing Indians represented as savage, ugly, as nasty, viscous, treacherous, drunken. They grow up only with a negative image of themselves and it lasts a lifetime.”

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Nearly 50 years ago, Marlon Brando decided to make good use of his privileged position to decline the Academy Award as a way to protest the mistreatment of Native American actors in the film industry. When Sacheen Littlefeather came to deliver the speech, she told the listeners of the program about the racially-based aggression she experienced including how actor John Wayne was held back by security because he was outraged by Littlefeather. 

It only took Hollywood nearly 50 years, but this weekend, the Academy finally recognized the first Native American actor with an award.

Credit: siouxpergirl92 / Instagram

During Sunday’s Governors Awards, a special ceremony that hands out honorary Oscars for lifetime achievement and humanitarian causes, the Native American actor and Vietnam war veteran was given an honorary award for career achievement. 

Wes Studi’s career has spanned nearly 30 years and it hasn’t always been easy.

Credit: united_historians / Instagram

Studi, a Vietnam War veteran who was an advocate for Native American issues before he pursued a career as an actor, first appeared in a small role in Kevin Costner’s “Dances With Wolves,” but made a searing impression as the villain Magua in Michael Mann’s 1992 epic “The Last of the Mohicans.” His casting as the leading character in Walter Hill’s “Geronimo: An American Legend” (1993) was a milestone for Hollywood —some studios at the time demanded that Hill cast a white actor in the lead role. 

Though Studi was featured in many films, he had never been nominated for an award over the course of his career.

Credit: siouxpergirl92 / Instagram

Though Studi has featured in many projects centered on Native American history (“Into the West,” “The New World,” “Hostiles”), he has also been one of Hollywood’s most reliable and memorable character actors for a generation, with a varied portfolio of work, including a role as a grizzled cop in “Heat” (1995), a mysterious superhero in “Mystery Men” (1999), and an alien patriarch in “Avatar” (2009). Studi, who this weekend became the first Native American actor to win an Oscar, had never even been nominated over the course of his long career. 

Christian Bale, who presented Studi with the award, put a finer point on the issue and called out all the people in the room.

“Too few opportunities in film have gone to Native or indigenous artists, and we’re a room full of people who can change that,” said Christian Bale, Studi’s Hostiles co-star, who presented him with the Oscar. “I’d simply like to say, it’s about time,” said Studi, who delivered much of his speech in Cherokee. “It’s been a wild and wonderful ride, and I’m really proud to be here tonight as the first indigenous Native American to receive an Academy Award. It’s a humbling honor to receive an award for something I love to do.”

The Governor Awards were ideated as a standalone ceremony —separate from the Oscars, to create a free space for winners and presenters to speak and be celebrated with no time restraints.

Credit: www.oscars.org

The honorary Oscar used to be given out as part of the main ceremony. It was a stately portion of the broadcast that required a long introduction, a grand video montage of the honoree’s work, and usually a rambling speech from the winner. In 2009, concerns about long-running times led to the creation of the Governors Awards, a non-televised ceremony held at the Grand Ballroom of the Hollywood and Highland Center.

Taking the special awards out of the hugely televised ceremony —and the hands of aggrieved network-TV executives— has actually been a benefit for the Oscars, lending the Governors Awards their own atmosphere of genuine acclaim where the winners and presenters can speak a little more candidly and without commercially motivated time restrictions.

Meanwhile, fellow honorees Lina Wertmüller and Geena Davis called for gender parity in Hollywood.

Credit: www.oscars.org

“She would like to change the Oscar to a feminine name,” Isabella Rossellini said, translating Italian director Lina Wertmüller’s acceptance speech for her honorary Oscar. “She would like to call it ‘Anna.’ Women in the room, please scream, ‘We want Anna, a female Oscar!’”

Wertmüller’s speech was the capstone of a night devoted to upending some of Hollywood’s most exclusionary traditions and celebrating some of its outsiders. Not only was Studi the first Native American to be recognized by the Academy, but Lina Wertmüller became the first woman ever to receive a best director Oscar nomination when she was recognized for 1976’s Seven Beauties.

“How do you correct centuries of patriarchal domination?” the screenwriter, producer, and director, Jane Campion asked. “It started with Lina Wertmüller.” 

Credit: @ScottFeinberg / Twitter

Campion, together with Little Women director Greta Gerwig, spoke on the history of women nominated for best director by the Academy. “It’s a very short history, more of a haiku,” Campion said, noting that 350 men have been nominated for best director, versus five for women —including herself and Gerwig, who called Wertmüller “a godmother to us all.”

‘Thelma and Louise’ star Geena Davis called out the industry on the very few opportunities of empowerment given to women.

Credit: www.oscars.org

Also during the black-tie dinner, Geena Davis, became the 39th recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, which celebrates “outstanding contributions to humanitarian causes” for building upon her acting career in films like “The Accidental Tourist,” “Beetlejuice,” “Thelma & Louise,” and “A League of Their Own” to become an advocate for gender equality in media.

Davis delivered a version of the gender-parity pitch she has made in recent years, speaking this time to the industry group gathered in the Dolby Ballroom. “Thelma and Louise made me realize how few opportunities we give women to come out of a movie feeling excited and empowered by the female characters,” Davis said. “The message we are sending is that men and boys are far more valuable to us than women and girls. Whatever you’re working on right now, boost the number of female characters…and then, cast me!”

Each year there is a lot of debate over who should receive these Honorary Oscars, as well as the Hersholt and the Irving J. Thalberg Memorial Award (which was not given this year). Governors come prepared to the meeting to advocate for their choices and a well-researched and delivered presentation can make a big difference. Afterward, candidates must receive a certain threshold of votes. No matter the process, one can’t argue that the achievements of this group of filmmakers meet the criteria of what appeared to be the prevailing sentiment at the Governors Awards—that the event was a chance to right past wrongs, to fill in the many gaps of Academy history, and all we can say is; at long last.

READ: “Roma” Wins Three Oscars At The 2019 Academy Awards

Fans Are Divided Over the Controversial Outfit Lizzo Wore Court-side At the Lakers-Timberwolves Game

Entertainment

Fans Are Divided Over the Controversial Outfit Lizzo Wore Court-side At the Lakers-Timberwolves Game

Lizzo / Instagram

Lizzo, the conclusive breakout popstar, fashion icon, and body-positivity role model of 2019, has been serving us sexy lewks and fashion ‘fits since she stepped onto the scene. But her latest ensemble has left both fans and casual observers scratching their heads (and their hoo-has) in confusion.

On Sunday, Lizzo attended the LA Lakers versus Minnesota Timberwolves basketball game dressed in a risque outfit. And unlike many of Lizzo’s previous edgy ensembles that have been pretty much universally embraced, this one caused quite the internet uproar. The outfit consisted of a long black t-shirt with a hole cut-out on her backside, exposing her thong-clad bare behind. And to take things even further, when the Laker Girls performed a dance routine to Lizzo’s hit-single “Juice” during half-time Lizzo got up and started to twerk. Her butt was facing the camera and her dance was picked up and broadcast on  the jumbotron and then the TV. In short, she essentially mooned the entirety of America before the camera quickly panned away.

And although Lizzo is known for stepping out in edgy ensembles, this one had many people saying she went too far.

As usual, there were a few haters who used Lizzo’s outfit as an opportunity to publicly body-shame her, but outside of those people, the outfit’s reception was mixed for more complicated reasons. Critics claimed that Lizzo’s ass-less outfit was too provocative for what many view as a family event. 

On this front, there was a consensus that there is a “time and a place” to show of your behind in public (like at a concert for your fans or an older-skewing awards show). Others took exception for what they believed was an issue of cleanliness: “This is a hygiene matter not a size/weight matter,” said one Twitter user. “It’s not okay to have your bare ass out on public seating”.

The social-media discussion has simply snowballed since Sunday. For every person that says Lizzo’s outfit was inappropriate, there is another person claiming that society only views it as inappropriate due to internalized fatphobia. Supporters of Lizzo point to other celebrities like Nicki Minaj and Rihanna who have built their entire careers profiting off their bodies. Others maintain that even these celebs wouldn’t go to a basketball game with their butt cheeks out.

Regardless of where you fall on the issue, it’s safe to say that this conversation wouldn’t be as heated if the celebrity in question was thin and had a conventionally “Hollywood” look.

On Twitter, some people were mad that Lizzo was “getting away” with dressing provocatively because of her body positivity brand. “If Lizzo wasn’t famous she would have definitely been asked to leave,” said one Twitter user. “It was inappropriate for a family setting. Sorry not sorry.” Really, there’s no way for us to know whether there would be this much outrage if a thinner celebrity wore such a provocative outfit to a professional sports game. If there’s one thing Lizzo is, it’s a trailblazer: we haven’t seen anything like this before.

And that’s exactly how Lizzo likes it. As the Grammy-nominated singer has previously said before, she’s made a conscious decision to include sexuality as part of her image. “[Women] weren’t given enough space in the industry to carve out a lane for big girls that are brown and black and want to sing and dance without getting sh*t-talked and body shamed,” she previously told Essence. “I want to be a sex symbol and music goddess and I’m out here trying to make that happen for myself. I’m here for the fantasy but I want to be a part of that fantasy. I’m just as fine as those girls.” Goodness knows she’s making good on that goal.

As for the reaction on Twitter, they ranged the spectrum from positive to downright condemning.

Lookout Drake! Lizzo just took over the award for “most polarizing court-side outfit in NBA history”. 

This person was insistent that Lizzo’s weight has nothing to do with the negative reception.

But of course, people responded to this Tweet with examples of graphic court-side outfits that didn’t spark as much outrage.

This person was convinced that Lizzo’s ass-less outfit was all part of her master plan to dominate music:

The timing does seem a little on-the-nose.

This person believes that there is a double-standard at play when judging Lizzo’s fashion choices

It’s true that provocatively-dressed pop stars are pretty par-for-the-course these days. But you’d be hard-pressed to find Beyonce in an ass-less outfit at a Lakers game.

This person pointed out how unsanitary Lizzo’s outfit seemed:

If anything, this is the most balanced take. No one wants to sit on a seat that had someone’s bare butt on it before them.

Amazon Prime’s New TV Show Is Showing The Zombie Apocalypse From The Perspective Of Narcos

Entertainment

Amazon Prime’s New TV Show Is Showing The Zombie Apocalypse From The Perspective Of Narcos

@NALIP_ORG / Twitter

Amazon has officially become home to post-apocalyptic horror series “Narcos vs Zombies,” which will be entirely created, written, and produced in Mexico. The action-drama series will even star actors from “Narcos: Mexico,” and will showcase the resiliency of narco-culture long after zombies have taken over the planet. The drama will unfold at the U.S.-Mexico border after the U.S. military performs shady experiments on its wounded soldiers, who become the original source of a booming zombie population. Soon, Mexican SWAT teams fall victim to the zombie virus and the U.S. Army dedicates its attention to eradicating the zombified SWAT team across the border.

The Spanish-language series confirms what we all already know: Mexico deserves its own zombie apocalypse content, and Amazon Prime is making it happen in 2020.

We’ll witness the zombie apocalypse unfold through the lens of a Mexican drug lord.

CREDIT: @NALIP_ORG / TWITTER

Sergio Peris-Mencheta, known for his role in “Snowfall” and “Rambo: Last Blood,” will play the untouchable kingpin Alonso Marroquín, whose life changes forever during a prison escape. Accompanied by his son, Lucas, played by Nery Arredondo of “Vuelven,” Alonso breaks out of a high-security Mexican prison and goes into hiding on the U.S. side of the border. The dangerous father-son duo finds themselves taking shelter at a drug rehabilitation facility ironically called Paradiso, without knowing Zombie Apocalypse Ground Zero would develop not too far from there. 

The premise of the plot is only moderately scathing of U.S.-Mexico relations, and it starts with how the United States treats its wounded soldiers. The story goes that the U.S. decided to conduct military experiments on its wounded soldiers, in the hopes that it would turn them into killing machines. When the experiment fails, the U.S. Army leaves its soldiers for dead near the border. The experiment, of course, takes hold as the soldiers do become killing machines, but they won’t take orders from the U.S. Army.

As a Mexican SWAT team leads a search to find the escaped Marroquíns, they stumble upon the mutant zombie soldiers and fall prey to the zombie virus, leaving the Marroquíns in the middle of what will become a U.S.-Mexico zombie war.  “The series is a lot of fun, action-packed and features amazing VFX, but it will also likely ruffle some feathers as it deals with several important – and controversial – current affairs,” Nicolas Entel, series showrunner and founding partner of Red Creek Productions, said in a press release.

Creator of the Pablo Escobar documentary, “Sins of My Father,” Nicolas Entel will be the series showrunner.

CREDIT: @BUENASENFISH /TWITTER

“We are always looking to bring new kinds of premium content to our Prime members, therefore we are very excited about this new and innovative series that will surely be loved by fans of a variety of genres,” head of Amazon Prime Video’s Mexico Originals, Javier Szerman, told Variety, adding, “The story of ‘Narcos vs Zombies’ is something that hasn’t been done at this scale in Latin America.”

Argentine Nicolas Entel has been named the series’ showrunner, and given his success with “Pecados De Mi Padre” (“Sins of My Father”), “Narcos vs Zombies” is slated to be very well-received. “Pecados De Mi Padre” is a documentary about Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, as told through the lens of his only son, and the sons of Escobar’s most famous fatal victims. Acclaimed director Rigoberto Castañeda (“Diablero”, “Hasta Que Te Concocí”)  will bring the series to life and Miguel Tejada Flores (“Screamers”, “Beyond Re-Animator”) will write the series.

So far, Latino reception has been mixed.

CREDIT: @ROSE20143521415 / TWITTER

What kind of Televisa is this? First the Derbez series and then this. They are on a very good road @PrimeVideoMX. NOOOOOOOOOOT!” tweeted Alejandro Gómez (@AliasChiri). “Just what we need, another series of narcos,” added Mario Franco (@lccmariofranco).

The first season is expected to be eight, high-production-value episodes, and is produced by Dynamo (“Narcos” and “El Chapo”) and Red Creek Productions (“Sins of My Father”). The series will premiere to more than 200 countries worldwide, and is expected to rivet Latin-American audiences.

For all of us at Dynamo it has been an incredible experience to produce this unique original series for Prime Video in Latin America,” Andrés Calderón, CEO of Dynamo said in a press release. “The level of complexity in the production of this series added with the blending of genres will bring audiences a story which they have never before seen.”

READ: ‘Narcos: Mexico’ Is Back For A Second Season: Here’s Everything We Know So Far