BY DEMETRIA OSEI-TUTU ’17
As we know, all good things come to an end. Unfortunately, this wonderful column is one of them. It’s been a joy getting to share my opinions and feelings about particular things in pop culture and entertainment.
I’ve written many articles about celebs and the politics of Hollywood. My favorite article has to be the one where I criticized Jimmy Fallon. It was very therapeutic to release all my less-than-pleasant feelings about him and contextualize it into a journalistic piece — complete with receipts.
Getting to take what I am passionate about and making it into a column has been an absolute joy. It has been fun (especially in the research department), but also has been great practice for my future as an entertainment journalist. I have learned a lot, especially with a word limit. And if I could, I would write some of these articles over, include some things or maybe write a follow up because there is always so much to say (darn word counts). All in all, I’ve been proud of the work that I’ve produced and am grateful to MHN for giving me this platform.
Lastly, for any other culture vultures out there, we must continue to criticize pop culture. We have to start conversations and draw attention to problematic elements that get swept under the rug.
Our voices are important for criticizing a late night talk show host who does not understand that humanizing a racist, misogynistic, xenophobic man is not a good idea. There were very real consequences to making a terrible person seem fun and normal, which more than likely contributed to said terrible person winning the presidency (as well as the damn electoral college). Jimmy Fallon and other future and current talk show hosts need to remember to be and do better; you can’t be neutral and complacent when it comes to a person who is outright oppressive.
Our voices are important when it comes to demanding diversity and good representation in Hollywood. Casting straight cis white people is not groundbreaking and will never be groundbreaking. We have to remember to keep Hollywood accountable so they don’t continue to make films like La La Land with two white straight cis protagonists: one jazz-loving white male musician (who uncomfortably borders on being a white savior of jazz) and a white aspiring actress. Hopefully, Hollywood will get the memo because box office results show that diversity does sell.
Our voices are especially important when they come together to make a company like Pepsi take down a grossly simplistic ad — an ad that capitalizes upon and trivializes a very important movement. The Pepsi ad also reminds us to be critical of celebs like Kendall Jenner who need to be called out for their problematic behavior and actions. They cannot just sit silently and not use their platform and money for good.
In short, we owe it to ourselves to be critical about the media we consume. Let’s make ourselves heard.