I can't really comment on the bulk of Mo'Nique's speech, but I can comment on the first thing she said - thanking the Academy for recognizing that it was about the performance, not the politics. The reference was to the entertainment industry politics of winning an Oscar -- the endless schmoozing, wining, dining, advocating both actors and studios do to promote a particular performance during awards season. Mo'Nique didn't play by the standard Hollywood rules. Instead of attending countless cocktail parties, she pretty much stayed in Atlanta, taping her BET talk show and leading her life.
But again, the point is that she was self-congratulatory about it during a speech that was supposedly "about the performance." Another writes:
I think the obvious intent of MoNique's message of the performance mattering and not the politicking was about the Hurt Locker producer. He was banned from coming to the Oscars altogether for his unheard of politicking to the people with votes at the Academy. That is what I took that line to mean.
Um, I really have no strong opinion on whether Mo'Nique was smug and self righteous or not as I think it's largely a matter of perception. But I wanted to state for the record that the black Mammy is not, in any way, a positive representation of black womanhood.
The Mammy is demeaned and demeaning and the very idea that your reader could think of it as a positive representation of black humanity is a nod to the casual dehumanization caused by the legacy of white supremacy. The figure of the Mammy is void of any personhood outside her relevance to the lives of white people. She is not even Mommy to her own children, but only Mammy to the white people she serves. Her existence only in the realm of servility is what makes Hattie McDaniel's character (rather than her portrayal, which, obviously, was brilliant) cringe-worthy. That your reader can't see that kind of freaks me out and makes me question how far perceptions of black Americans in general and black women in particular have come.
The fact that Mo'Nique said at the backstage press conference that she was just a stand-up comedian who happened to win an Oscar sort of indicates that she wasn't in full on self-important mode about the award.
Mo'Nique probably named Hattie McDaniel for one main reason: she owns the rights to Hattie McDaniel's life story and is planning to portray her in the very near future. Even the flower in her hair in tribute to McDaniel was calculated toward this. It was done in homage to her, yes, but it was also a bit of self-promotion (during a speech in which she condemns Hollywood's self-promotion ... so there you go).
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