We are mere hours from Oscar night, so naturally we need to be reminded that for women — and especially for black women — winning an Academy Award can actually be a bad thing. Oh, sure, it's great for an actor to have her hard work recognized. But researchers have discovered that there really is an Oscar Curse.
The University of Toronto's Tiziana Casciaro tells the Huffington Post:
The finding, to be exact, is that Oscar-winning women get more divorced than Oscar nominated women, while we find no difference for men.
Examples: Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Halle Berry, Kate Winslet, Hilary Swank. Casciaro admits: "Sandra Bullock is an interesting situation because while she divorced right after, the infidelity that led her to ask for divorce started before she won the Oscar."
Meanwhile, over on The Grio, Mychal Denzel Smith declares that there's a specific Oscar curse just for black women:
As counter-intuitive at sounds, not winning an Oscar is probably the best shot at longevity as a black woman has in Hollywood.
Smith points out that after Hattie McDaniel, Halle Berry, Jennifer Hudson and Mo'Nique won Academy Awards, their acting careers did not (or have not yet) reach new heights. Even Whoopi Goldberg, who has earned EGOT status, is now known more as a talk show personality than a serious actress.
The truth, of course, is that there is no "curse." Only a movie industry with far too few roles for black women. If it hadn't been for The Help, there would be no black people nominated for awards this year. Obviously we hope Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer win… But it's worth noting that they got there by playing domestic roles, working for white people… much like Hattie McDaniel, who won an Oscar for playing Mammy in Gone With The Wind in 1940. Progress?