The 2014 Academy Awards proved to be a ground-breaking event for Black film. Steve McQueen’s emotional picture “12 Years A Slave” made history as the first movie from a Black director to win Best picture, screenwriter John Ridley became the second Black man to win the golden trophy for “Best Adapted Screenplay” and Lupita Nyong’o became the seventh Black woman in history to win an Oscar for her role as Patsey. Sadly, these triumphant moments were short-lived when news and entertainment sites began publishing the victory with irresponsible headlines.
One of the most shocking header came from The Daily Breeze, that titled their lead story “‘Slave’ Becomes Master” on the front page of their newspaper, but there were several other offenders. The usually respectable entertainment trade publication “Variety” ran the headline “‘Slave’ Actress Lupita Nyong’o Wins Oscar In Debut Film,” before changing it to “‘’12 Years a Slave’ Actress Lupita Nyong’o Wins Oscar in Film Debut” after receiving backlash. Then there were and others who played up the term “slave” by adding “escape” as a punch line.
The following headlines made us cringe…
As if it wasn’t bad enough that comedian Chelsea Handler promoted her book “Uganda Be Kidding Me” after Lupita’s historic win, these outlets proved that sometimes people just don’t use their brains.
What do you think about these headlines?