Winning an Oscar Ruins Your Life If You're a Lady (Or Worse, a Black Lady)

Illustration for article titled Winning an Oscar Ruins Your Life If You're a Lady (Or Worse, a Black Lady)

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.

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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?

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'Oscar Curse' Study: Researcher Weighs In [HuffPo]
Academy Awards 2012: Is there a black female Oscar curse? [The Grio]

DISCUSSION

arischwartz
Ari Schwartz: Dark Lord of the Snark

In response to the number of people who have questioned why divorce is seen as a failing, I quote the great scholar of our times Louis CK:

"I’m divorced, so I’m single again after ten years of marriage. And—no... Cut the shit! Don’t even start with that noise like a puppy died! Let me tell you something. Let me tell you something. And this is important because some day one of your friends is gonna get divorced. It’s gonna happen. And they’re gonna tell you, don’t go "awww sorry." That’s a stupid thing to say! It really is. First of all, you’re making them feel bad for being really happy, which isn’t fair. And second, let me explain something to you. Divorce is always good news. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true because no good marriage has ever ended in divorce. It’s really that simple. That’s never hap— that would be sad. If two people were married and they were really happy and they just had a great thing, and then they got divorced, that would be really sad. But that has happened zero times. Literally zero. Ray Charles has killed more jews than happy marriages have ended in divorce. So if your friend got divorced, it means things were bad and now they’re—I mean, they’re better. They’re not good, life is shit wall to wall. But they’re better, so you should be happy."

Also, this face is how I feel about this study.