Friday, February 8, 2019

A Few Updates

Legendary actor Albert Finney died yesterday, but I am not ready to eulogise him. I then thought I would leave you with a few updates. Indeed, you may have noticed something different about A Shroud of Thoughts. Quite simply, the blog now has pages. Blogger actually introduced Pages in February 2010, but I never added Pages to this blog for two basic reasons. The first is that I really had no idea what use I would have for Pages. In the past several months, however, it occurred to me that I did have a use for Pages. The second is that I was not sure that my Blogger template, which is a duke's mixture of various templates, would even be compatible with the Pages feature. Fortunately, it turned out it was. Beyond adding Pages, I didn't have to make any changes to A Shroud of Thoughts' template. You can see the list of pages of A Shroud of Thoughts above the sidebars and posts.

I am also happy to announce that on January 31 2019 the petition to add my dearest Vanessa Marquez to the In Memoriam segment of the Academy Awards telecast reached over 1000 signatures and was submitted to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. That having been said, if you have not yet signed the petition, you can still do so. With regards to my beloved Vanessa, I also have to say that a letter encouraging the Academy to include her in the In Memoriam portion of the Oscars ceremony, composed by actress Minerva Garcia Ortega and writer Diana Martinez and signed by 60 people (including myself), was sent to the Academy. I know that many of Vanessa's other friends have sent individual letters to the Academy and I sent them one myself.

Now none of this is a guarantee that the Academy will include Vanessa in the In Memoriam segment of the Oscars telecast, although I certainly hope they do. I was sorely disappointed that many media outlets did not include her in their year-end In Memoriam pieces and that the Screen Actors Guild excluded her from the In Memoriam segment of the SAG Awards telecast. Vanessa was a well known and beloved actress who appeared in a classic film (Stand and Deliver) and one of the most popular television shows of all time (ER), not to mention other movies and TV shows. She was technically a SAG Award winner, being part of the cast of ER when that show won the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. She was also a pioneering Latina actress, appearing in films and on television at a time when Latinas were rarely seen in American films and on American television. What is more, she appeared in non-stereotypical roles at a time when Latina stereotypes were still common in American media. Since her death I have learned just how respected Vanessa was by her fellow Latinx actors and the Latinx community at large.

Because of this, I must admit that I am a bit puzzled as to why she was omitted from so many year-end In Memoriam pieces and from the In Memoriam segment of the SAG Awards telecast. I can only guess that there were two reasons for this. The first is that it is an another occurrence of Latinx erasure, in which the contributions of Latinxs to history and popular culture are ignored. The second is that Vanessa was very outspoken with regards to sexual harassment she received on the set of ER and elsewhere. Sadly, in taking up for herself I think it is likely that she made some fairly powerful people in Hollywood and elsewhere unhappy. These people might not have been happy to have seen her memorialised, regardless of how popular and how significant she was. Of course, to say I am very unhappy with such people goes without saying.

Lastly, I also want to say that I am still taking submissions for the 5th Annual Favourite TV Show Episode Blogathon. If you have a favourite episode of a classic TV show you would like to write a blog post about, then let me know! Tomorrow I hope to have a eulogy for Albert Finney completed.

1 comment:

Dennis Bedard said...

Albert Finney. RIP.