The morning after Larry Wilmore (and the rest of the Oscar-prognosticating press) predicted that we would once again have an all-white group of nominees in the Academy’s acting categories, that sad truth came to pass. Last night, The Daily Show set out to solve Oscar’s race problem.
Correspondent Roy Wood Jr. joined host Trevor Noah to lament the fact that “the only white dude” in Creed, Sylvester Stallone, got that movie’s sole nomination while the Best Original Screenplay nomination for Straight Outta Compton went to its four white writers.
“That movie was about gangsta rap and they still found a way to nominate white people!” Wood Jr. exclaimed. “Straight Outta Compton? More like straight outta Cornell!”
Noah blamed black filmmakers, who he said must admit that the only way to win an Oscar is by “pandering to white Oscar voters.” Just look at the recent slate of nominated films featuring black actors: Django Unchained, Selma and, most notably, 12 Years a Slave, which actually managed a Best Picture win.
“White people love feeling bad about how they treated black people,” Wood Jr. explained. “So to make a hit black movie, you need a whip, a fire hose or a negro spiritual.”
“We can make any movie we want,” he clarified, “we just need to trick white people into thinking the movie is about slavery.”
With that in mind, the show presented its own, re-edited versions of Straight Outta Compton, which became “Straight Outta Cotton” when they replaced the hip-hop with some spiritual humming. For Creed, all they had to do was inject a subplot in which Michael B. Jordan’s character is fighting to overcome his great-grandfather’s slave past. Call it “Freed.”