The Academy Awards were last night. Or The Oscars. Take your pick.
There were a lot of feel good moments.
Kathryn Bigelow becoming the first female to win Best Director was one of them---until you realized that it's long overdue that a woman win that award. Or that an African-American still hasn't. Both are indictments of the Academy.
Another moment that could have been terrific was Mo'Nique winning Best Supporting Actress for her role in "Precious."
The reason it wasn't was because Mo'Nique, normally a comedic performer, chose to be contentious instead of gracious.
"This proves that it's about the performance and not about the politics," she declared as she clutched Oscar by the throat---which I found to be a very appropriate way to hold him.
The politics of a not allowing a black woman to win Best Supporting Actress? Aren't we past that? Mo'Nique is hardly a trailblazer in that regard; no offense.
Really, what was Mo'Nique talking about?
She, in one sentence, denigrated not only the performances of her colleagues who were nominated, but her own.
If I was one of Mo'Nique's fellow nominees, I would have been flabbergasted. Not to mention uncomfortable and embarrassed, especially when those around me would be looking at me like, "Oh, that poor girl."
So Mo'Nique feels that she won the BSA solely because of her performance and not "politics"? Terrific; that's the way it ought to be. But that also infers that if someone else had won, it would have been about politics.
That's not too gracious.
Mo'Nique, making a train wreck of her Oscar acceptance speech
The rest of her acceptance speech was very powerful and made my eyes moist. But the more I thought about her "politics" remark, the more it bothered me.
It was a hit-and-run comment---a drive-by shooting of sorts.
The comment elicited some cheers, but they were brief and not all that loud---as if the folks who reacted did so thinking that it sounded good at first, but upon further review was just plain awkward.
Mo'Nique, by all accounts (I didn't see the film) put forth a marvelous performance; in fact, she was deemed to be the favorite by most of the handicappers. You don't get nominated by being a stiff on the screen.
But what's wrong with "Thank you"? What's wrong with some graciousness? What's wrong with accepting the award without making your colleagues feel like doofuses?
Mo'Nique's moment could have been so much better. It could have been so much more uplifting.
Instead, it turned out to be kind of weird. Because she made it that way.