Was Whoopi Goldberg's Oscar Win Snubbed in the New York Times?
The View has a bimonthly tradition (approximately) of making headlines, and the latest "controversy" is a wee one: Whoopi Goldberg claims The New York Times didn't mention her in an article called "Hollywood Whiteout" about this year's rather Caucasian field of Oscar nominees. It touches on Oscar history too, and Whoopi said that the failure to mention her Oscar win for Ghost hurt her "terribly." Is Goldberg's outrage warranted?
Looks like Whoopi missed the point.
The article singles out 2001 -- the year of Denzel Washington's Best Actor win and Halle Berry's Best Actress trophy -- as a would-be turning point in Academy history: "After Mr. Washington and Ms. Berry, there would be Jamie Foxx and Forest Whitaker (both best actors); Morgan Freeman (best supporting actor); Jennifer Hudson and Mo'Nique (best supporting actresses)." That's as close as authors Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott come to making a comprehensive list of Oscar winners. It doesn't say that black actors didn't win Oscars before 2001. In that case, Louis Gossett, Jr. and Cuba Gooding Jr. should also be outraged. They won supporting actor Oscars for 1982's An Officer and a Gentlemen and 1996's Jerry Maguire (respectively), and they're nowhere to be found in the story. And I even liked those movies. Sorry, Ghost.
While Whoopi's calling out NYT for journalistic gaffes, let's also correct her historical memory: It was 51 years between her win and Hattie McDaniel's -- not 70. So there. I wanted to get behind Whoopi's crusade here because black women don't often win Oscars (particularly for comic roles), but I just can't. I will say that Goldberg was very right to be insulted when she wasn't included in the 2008 Oscar telecast's retrospective of the ceremony's history, since she hosted the damn show four times. That was valid. I look forward to more of that justified rage in the future.