Thursday (04/28/2021) – I started off the open-forum discussion by taking a poll to determine who within the class actively watches award shows and who does not. About 7 people raised their hand for yes, and about 5 raised their hand for no. Following that, I went around the circle and asked everyone what their initial opinions / thoughts about award shows so that I could get the general “vibe” of how and where the discussion was going to go. The general consensus was that although award shows are fun, they feel a little dystopian and are just an excuse for celebrities to party. It is worth noting that multiple people preferred watching the red carpet over the actual award ceremony as it’s exciting to see and judge what celebrities wear.
The biggest talking point of the deliberation was the Will Smith v. Chris Rock incident that occurred during the 2022 Oscars. While there were a lot of mixed opinions, it was clear that people are too invested in celebrities’ personal lives / drama. For example, one classmate made the point that people are more likely to talk badly about a couple who is public rather than private Some also felt as if the backlash against Jada Smith was sexist in the sense that she was the victim of the joke yet some watchers blamed her.. Most classmates felt as if Will Smith was punished too harshly due to the slap happening on live television (not behind the scenes) and the academy being worried about their reputation.
In conclusion, the class determined that award shows only confirm that we as a society only value pretty faces and what is considered to be tangible (since that’s the easiest way to make a profit). We also determined that award shows are performative and suggest that in the future they open up more to public so that they feel more inclusive / relatable.