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B-list action heroine, Michelle Rodriguez stepped in it recently after seeing Lee Daniels’ film ‘The Paperboy.’ Despite its mixed reviews, Rodriguez apparently loved the film and was completely taken by Nicole Kidman’s performance, particularly the scene in which she pees on Zac Efron and has a very loud, very graphic orgasm.

“I loved The Paperboy!” she told NY Mag’s Vulture, and had a few words for the film’s critics: “I say fuck them because they don’t get it. He’s so good at keeping me entertained. When I don’t like the dialogue, I’m amused by the visuals. And when I don’t like the visuals, I’m amused by the dialogue. It’s always switching up senses. I’m intrigued by his ability to capture me in a theater. It’s not easy to capture me in a theater — I’m ADD like that.”

But it was her misguided praise of Kidman’s performance that have some people scratching their heads.

“I f-cking loved it,” Rodriguez  explained. “One of my friends said, ‘She’s going to get nominated for an Oscar for that.’ I was like, ‘Nah, man. She’s not black!’ I laugh, but it’s also very sad. It makes me want to cry. But I really believe. You have to be trashy and black to get nominated. You can’t just be trashy.”

Hmm. Perhaps Rodriguez has been watching a different set of award ceremonies than the rest of us. Considering only five black women have taken home Academy Awards, two for “gritty” roles (Halle Berry in Monsters Ball and Mo’Nique for Precious), while countless other white women have won for “trashy” roles (Charlize Theron in Monster or Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny), Rodriguez’s statement is not only misguided, it’s just plain wrong.

While I think I understand Rodriguez’s sentiment—that Hollywood only rewards one narrow depiction of black women—her ability to articulate the nuances of such an argument is sorely lacking.

What do you think?

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  • NowWhatNow

    I think I can safely speak for one of my girl crushes, Michelle Rodriguez, when I say that there has clearly been a misunderstanding!

    Sometimes the impulse to be up in arms and indignant about a perceived slight can lead us to misread what non-white people say about us. This article is one such misreading.
    AJ & Toppin’s interpretations are absolutely correct: Michelle was just trying to say what we, as a black community, have been saying all along about when and why black actors get rewarded for their work.

    These “hold up: what did he/she just say about black people?!” articles are just so counterproductive, gossipy, and often extremely misleading.
    We have not only bigger but also REAL fish to fry.
    Sorry, folks! No fish here.

    • Kim

      And I always say and have witnessed through my 46 years of life, those who talk about bigger fish to fry usually fry nothing.

  • Chloe

    Unfortunately, Michelle Rodriquez is telling the truth. Many black actors/actresses only win an Oscar for playing demeaning roles such as a maid, thug, or drug addict. I cannot remember a single occasion where a black man or woman has won an Oscar for a lively comedic role that does not scream of stereotypes or a tragic romance drama such as The Notebook. She’s right if your black and you play a trashy role you maybe nominated for an Oscar, so sad, but relatively true.

  • honeyxzillah

    It’s kind of a weird thing to say, and kind of pisses me off. Nicole Kidman has already won an Oscar, and I’m sure there’s tons of actresses/actors (like Charlize Theron) who have won for “trashy” roles.

    I’m extremely tired of the disrespect of black people, period. It’s like there’s always some new joke or new comment at the expense of us and our culture, and it is sickening. It’s never “enough,” it’s always something new. We win Oscars, and then it’s like “well, now you can only be blahblahblah to win…” it’s like…REALLY? I know I’m sensitive, but that’s me.

    I kinda get what she’s saying now that I re-read it, but it still makes me roll my eyes. Sick of reading between the lines, trying to decipher what people are saying. Done.