Finally! After a tumultuous Oscar night full of diet racism, colonialist-toned jokes about folks’ names, and what is legit (allegedly) the most evil prank of all time, Moonlight won the 89th Academy Award for Best Picture. Whew! It’s been a journey, ya’ll. And so we’d like to officially congratulate director and black guy Barry Jenkins for propelling himself into a realm so few black and brown celebs have had the privilege to experience. Thanks to the Oscars, Jenkins is now enough of a Hollywood celebrity to be confused with other black Hollywood celebrities — and let me tell you — that’s really something. Let’s delve into why.
Take a look at well-known black actress Gabrielle Union who has established herself so well that she’s honorably mistaken for fellow black actress Sanaa Lathan on a regular basis. Union expressed in a Hot 97 interview that she used to go on whole entire press tours as someone else, without even realizing it.
Also just recently, Wall Street Journal confused Academy Award nominated Dev Patel with American actor and activist Kal Penn. Both A-list Indian actors, it’s no surprise the WSJ saw their successes and simply found them too much alike not to mix up!
And of course let’s not forget the epic mix-up that is #HiddenFences, originated at the Golden Globes this year, which brilliantly combined both critically acclaimed films Hidden Figures and Fences to create a new and improved hybrid. People are still mixing up these films today. What an achievement that each of those movies has made enough of a mark to become a mash-up. Brava.
So as you can see, Barry Jenkins is in fine, fine company, as is any black and brown celeb who’s ever mistaken for that other black or brown celeb. Can’t wait to see who the call him, first. He made it!