Oh sure, there will be some colored folk about. The host, Chris Rock, for one. And maybe a few of those great actors everyone talks about, like Denzel Washington, Forrest Whitaker, and Lupita Nyong'o. But nope, nobody who's up for an award THIS year. In fact, for the second year in a row, every actor nominated for an Oscar award is White, despite the critical praises of such films as "Beasts of No Nation," "Straight Outta Compton," and "Creed" (and also, "Concussion," which everyone seems to have just plain forgotten about, as though they too had been hit repeatedly in the head).
Reactions range from wide-eyed puzzlement to rage and resigned bitterness about the glaring omission of films led by Africans or African Americans. "Is it the members who vote on the Oscars, the films, the campaigns behind them or something else?" one recent NY Times article read. “Industry critics were asking how filmdom’s top awards could be so narrowcast a second year in a row.” Jada Pinkett and Spike Lee are calling for a boycott.
But hey, why dwell on the rampant inequality and racism around us? When life gives you lemons, use ‘em to garnish a drink. So, in honor of the great Oscar “White Out” of 2016, and the inevitable desire for many drinks as Hollywood congratulates itself for being the White BET Awards, here are a few cocktails based on white, clear, or light-colored alcoholic liquors. Let’s start at with the host, shall we?
Chris on the Rocks
This vermouth cocktail is clean and smooth, with a touch of citrus and elderberry on the nose and a kick you may not see coming, kind of like Oscar host Chris Rock’s comedic style.
Straight Outta Consideration
For this cocktail, inspired by the Klondike Strike and classic gin and juice, I chose Remy Martin, a longtime connection of Dr. Dre and Ice Cube and orange juice. Just who decided that “popular” movies are not worthy Oscar consideration anyway? “Straight Outta Compton,” despite the glaring failure to address Dee Barnes and other victims of domestic abuse, chronicled a huge moment in arts and American history: that time when a bunch of poor black kids talked about their lives in their city, and the world didn’t just listen, it danced.
The Martian Red Cloud
This drink is inspired by the classic Red Cloud cocktail, made with apricot brandy and grenadine. Matt Damon’s Mark Watney had to do A LOT of science to survive on Mars. But you know what? Fostering diversity isn’t nearly as complicated. All anyone has to do create movies, TV, education and job access in a way that reflects the way the world actually looks, multi-colored folk, LBGTQ, and all.