Another day, another chapter in the controversial #OscarsSoWhite book. Yes, the non-inclusive Academy has struck again.
This time, in a blow to the transgender community, the Academy snubbed ANOHNI — the first transgender nominee in decades — by not having her perform in Sunday’s ceremony. Choosing instead to have a non-nominee, Dave Grohl, perform.
ANOHNI has since announced that she will be boycotting the Academy Awards this year on more than just the principle of Transgender Rights and the stigma against the community.
In an inspiring essay about politics, capitalism, and the gender politics of show business today, ANOHNI (née Antony Hegarty) spilled her heart out about the transgender movement, and the snub she recieved from the Academy.
Despite having been nominated for the Best Song category (for her beautiful song “Manta Ray” in the environmental documentary Racing Extinction), she was not asked to perform alongside the other more conventional nominees, including Lady Gaga, Sam Smith, and The Weeknd.
However, the British-American Oscar Nominee stressed the symbolic meaning of her boycott more, claiming that it was not just this one action of the Academy towards her that she is protesting, but a larger movement against the marginalization of the transgender community within show business.
“If you trace the trail of breadcrumbs, the deeper truth of it is impossible to ignore.”
With these words, ANOHNI connects herself to a movement, a movement of people against the oppression of anyone who looks different, has different anatomy, has different sex, worships a different God (or no God at all) — has any lifestyle different from the conventional, which is, according to the Academy, performances by the likes of Sam Smith.
With these words, ANOHNI joins the revolution.
In her poignant and searing criticism of convention — greatly emphasized by the Academy’s decision to exclude her unique voice and unconventional gender in Sunday’s Oscars ceremony — ANOHNI uses her boycott to attract attention to a number of other important issues in the world today: from transgender rights, to Economic Inequality.
She writes further on her website of the dreaded system, inclusive of the Academy, the Grammys, the U.S. Government, basically any of the pompous people we see parading about ceremonies, on our TVs.
“In the United States it is all about money: those who have it and those who don’t. Identity politics are often used as a smokescreen to distract us from this viral culture of wealth extraction. When we are not extracting wealth from nature, we are extracting it from the working and middle classes.”
ANOHNI scorches the entire capitalistic system, calling to attention not only the discrimination she faces as a trans woman, but also to the fact that you (Yes. YOU), sitting here reading celebrity news, are a victim of a daylight robbery.
They are robbing you — extracting your wealth. ANOHNI -as the first trans Oscar nominee since 1976- is telling you with her prominent absence at the Oscars come Sunday, keeping you docile with glamorous ceremonies and blockbuster movies.
They are robbing you and your planet, foraging deep beneath the Earth for resources, and then hoarding it all to themselves.
The immensity of the message she wishes to send from her simple boycott of the Oscars is impressive. One trans woman – a singer, an Oscar nominee- is standing against an entire system of power that oppresses not just her but us all, despite her marginalization.
Before she signs off on her revolutionary essay/ Oscars Boycott Announcement, ANOHNI sends us one last reminder, one last succinct message to carry the weight of her absense into Sunday’s Academy Awards Ceremony.
“But don’t forget that many of these celebrities are the trophies of billionaire corporations whose only intention it is to manipulate you into giving them your consent and the last of your money. They have been paid to do a little tap dance to occupy you while Rome burns. […] America, a country that is no longer contained by physical borders, aspires only for more power and control. I want to maximize my usefulness and advocate for the preservation of biodiversity and the pursuit of human decency within my sphere of influence.”
[Photo by Franz Harrison/Getty Images]