Stacey Dash has been all over the Internet since last night when she made a shocking appearance in a Black History Month-themed joke alongside host Chris Rock at the 2016 Academy Awards. With Dash having previously said that Black History Month should be done away with, it comes as little surprise that many Black fans weren’t too happy to see Dash at the Oscars when the ceremony was already being boycotted as a result of the #OscarsSoWhite backlash. Now, Dash has given a detailed explanation about why she did the joke.
As fans know, many Black fans, as well as Black stars like Jada Pinkett Smith, protested the Oscars this year for failing to nominate any Black actors for two years in a row. As expected, Rock touched upon the subject multiple times, including a Black History Month-themed joke in which he introduced Dash to the stage, saying that she was the new director of the Academy’s Minority Outreach Program.
“I cannot wait to help my people out. Happy Black History Month,” said Dash with a smile and a laugh.
However, the joke fell flat and audience members gave a lukewarm reaction. Viewers at home also seemed to dislike the joke and many Black fans proceeded to blast Dash online. Shortly after her Oscar appearance, though, Dash posted a response on her blog, explaining her decision to do the joke with Rock.
“You might be watching the Oscars and wondering why someone named Stacey Dash just walked across the stage. (Why was that funny anyway?),” wrote Dash in the opening line of the post, before giving a history of her career, as well as a summary of her negative comments about President Obama, the Black community, and reverse racism.
“We need to stop complaining about White people oppressing us, we shouldn’t boycott the Oscars, and we need to support Chris Rock the host,” Dash wrote.
Then the actress got to the meat and potatoes of the issue, ironically explaining that she did the joke for the sake of diversity and making sure that Black people were represented at the Oscars.
“Which brings me to the joke. When they added me to increase the diversity, I’m sure many Black people rolled their eyes. I’m not ‘Black enough,’ they say. But guess what? I’ve heard that all my life. I would rather be a free thinking, Black than a cookie-cutter Black who thinks — and votes — just like all my friends,” Dash wrote.
“Yes, I’m the actress from the South Bronx who has always dreamed of winning an Oscar,” Dash continued. “But God has a great sense of humor and this is my first encounter with one of my dreams of destiny. Bringing diversity to Hollywood … not merely because of color, but politics as well. (After all, different colors of skin is an easy kind of diversity. Ideological diversity is much harder, because it forces everyone to come face to face with actual beliefs. Hollywood needs BOTH.)”
She finished by writing, “Anyway, this is a first. A beginning.”
It’s clear that Dash sees herself as a trailblazer for diversity and change in the industry. However, we’re not sure that most Black fans see her in the same light.