DiCaprio Win Proves The Oscars Really Are Equal Opportunity

Updated March 29, 2016 9:27pm PDT
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Leo your weary head to rest. Don't you cry no more. 

In news sure to make the fans who inexplicably showed up in my mentions to defend him the other week ecstatic, Leonardo DiCaprio, most recently famous for his role in The Revenant, finally put to rest years of internet memes and gentle mockery by taking home the coveted Best Actor award. The embattled 41-year-old actor, who had previously been nominated for the award five times, used the podium to make a few poignant remarks about protecting Native American and other Indigenous lands before leaving to have his statue engraved, presumably with the words “TAKE THAT, MOTHERFUCKERS” in appropriately large caps.

Leo’s Oscar win should bring hope to the scores of marginalised people who have been snubbed for nominations or wins at the Academy Awards over the past few years.

If even Leonardo DiCaprio, best known for playing caricatures of himself as he imagines them to exist in parallel universes–"I think Earth-34 me probably parts his hair to the left and puckers his face when he's sad and when he's happy; he's got complex motivations"–in such films in The Wolf of Wall Street andThe Great Gatsby can get one of those gold statues, surely the rest of Hollywood’s least fortunate can’t be too far behind! 

It’s only a matter of time before the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognises other minorities, not just men in their forties who fuck supermodels in their twenties atop beds presumably stuffed with dollar bills. And not the normal dollar bills that regular shmucks like you and me have to use. He gets the good dollars that never get rejected by vending machines and buses built in the 70's. I guess that's an advantage of sleeping in an animal carcassto taking public transit–you probably don't need exact change to climb into a buffalo or a possum. 

Although this year’s Oscar nominees ran the gamut from alabaster to eggshell and at least one of them was a man nominated for playing a woman, marginalised film fans shouldn’t give up. Leo’s Oscar win proves that anyone willing to put in the work has a chance of being recognised by the Academy, as long as they’re a wealthy, well-connected, highly-sought-after member of the Hollywood establishment with a lengthy career in the industry made possible by immense privilege along every conceivable axis.

This win was also huge for the Native American people who got to be backdrops and sidekicks in The Revenant’s moving plot about white violence. Such a coup for representation! The Revenant will go down in history as a veritable harbinger for countless Oscar wins to come for white people starring in stories about people of colour. And maybe, maybe! one of them will be so kind as to use his Oscar win to talk about how making a film about white people crying white tears on stolen land made him sad in real life about how white polluted that land. 

Ultimately, DiCaprio’s Oscar–which joins the various other industry awards he’s won over the years for various films in which he plays a man whose resemblance to a very blonde hamster is somehow not remarked upon in a vast conspiracy sure to become our generation's Flat Earth Theory–is proof that while the Oscars might be white, our senses of humour don’t have to be

And hey, if they could give one to Leo, maybe it’ll finally be Robert Downey Jr’s turn next year.

 

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Aaminah Khan is an Australian-born activist of Pakistani and Turkish descent currently living in the American south. Zie has been a staff writer for The Rainbow Hub and has had zer writing featured in The Huffington Post, Black Girl Dangerous, The Progressive and elsewhere. Zie blogs, tweets and posts pictures of zer food as jaythenerdkid.