Oscars2016: Writer weighs in on the Jada Pinkett/Janet Hubert shade

Oscars2016: Writer weighs in on the Jada Pinkett/Janet Hubert shade

Mfonobong Akpan

Actress Janet Hubert made headlines last week for throwing shades at Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith in a video she posted to Facebook after the A list couple’s decision to boycott the Oscars over a lack of diversity.

Although Janet feels their decision came from a self-serving place, some folks are thinking her rant stems from a self-serving place as well.

Freelance Writer Blue Telusma writes:

Yet while I appreciate why so many people are giggling at

Hubert’s vainglorious tirade, I also can’t help but be concerned that her personal vendetta against the Smith family is being used to further diminish the very real issues surrounding #OscarsSoWhite.

The first thing that jumped out about the video (aside from the heavily pixilated filter that made her look like a deranged Lisa Frank folder) was the intro. She very proudly kicks off the rant introducing herself as “Blacktress Janet Hubert.”

Pause for a second.

By using the moniker “Blacktress,” which presumably stands for “black actress,” Hubert is making it known that acting is such an integral part of her identity, she literally uses it as part of her name.

Yet, this is supposed to be a video where she explains why the injustices that other black actors and “blacktresses” face don’t matter.

Am I the only one who sees the glaring hypocrisy here?

Blue then argues the importance of black representation in the Arts:

Anyone who says this is “just about a silly awards show” needs to take a serious look at the history books. That’s like saying Muhammad Ali was just a boxer, Harry Belafonte was just an actor or James Brown was just a singer. Black people have successfully used artists and their platforms to further our efforts for generations.

How did so many of us suddenly forget that?

As for Hubert, yes — it’s easy to roll your eyes at the influence of black excellence when you’re habitually throwing shade from your kitchen table.

So while it’s cute that Aunt Viv finally got to get her grievances off her chest — that doesn’t make Jada Pinkett-Smith’s call to action any less valid, necessary or timely.


Happenings Media