The Oscar Nominations stirred up a lot of controversy these last two years because of their lack of diversity and representation of all races in their nominee selection. The 2016 nominations marked the second year in a row that no black actors were nominated for an Oscar. Many black actors and celebrities including Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith decided that attending the Oscars was not in their best interest this year.
As with most stories these days, the Oscar controversy made its way to social media where everyone and anyone was welcome to contribute to the discussion on what this lack of representation meant. In one of our own CT schools, the issue of equality and representation reared its head. William Hall High school’s long standing unofficial fan group “The Rez” (short for the reservation) changed their name to the Hall Super Fan after getting attention from Frank Waln an indigenous American rapper from the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota.
Frank Waln had tweeted earlier in the year, “Americans will fight harder to defend native mascots than they will to defend the lives of actual native ppl [people] whose land they live on”
There is a lack of representation for indigenous peoples in the Hall High community, and the unofficial fan group “The Reservation” or “The Rez” had become increasingly popular among hall students who did not perceive this group as being offensive. After attention from NBC Connecticut and lots of open discussion among students the group officially changed it’s name to the “Hall Super Fans”. Maybe the Oscar controversy will help to diversify next year’s Oscar Nominee pool. Only time will tell.
This post was written for the Commission by a West Hartford High School Student.