Viola Davis

Dear Oscars: Don’t Do to ‘Moonlight’ What You Did to These Black Films

Lawrence Ware

This is a historic year, but I’ve learned to temper my enthusiasm about black folks winning Academy Awards. While winning the coveted Oscar is often considered the high mark of one’s career, there are many examples of when the academy failed to recognize the best film made in a given year or even the best actor or actress nominated. I will never forgive the academy for failing to nominate Do the Right Thing for best picture. That year the Oscar went to Driving Miss Daisy.

From ‘Mad Men’ to ‘The Americans’: How Television Handles the Issue of Sexual Assault

Megan Walsh

One of the methods often used to integrate a rape storyline into a show is as a tragic backstory – a flashback used to explain why a woman is the way she is, particularly if that woman is of the colder, less trusting variety. The Americans did this with lead character Elizabeth Jennings, a Soviet spy undercover as a normal American citizen. In the pilot of the series, during a flashback, we see a young Elizabeth preparing for her future role as a spy and subsequently being assaulted by a commanding officer. 

A Certain Type of Girl: A Portrait of Fictional Female Villains

Megan Walsh

Villainous women have existed in fiction for as long as there's been fiction, though they often fall into types: mean girls, evil queens, harping wives, revenging mistresses. Often, they all share one quality: they are unsympathetic. This is not a sweeping statement across the board, of course, and characters intended to be unsympathetic can be read sympathetically by certain audiences. However, female characters of questionable morality are not always granted the automatic sympathy of a lot of their male counterparts. Men can be antiheroes; women often aren't allowed that luxury. 

Oscars Preview: Who Will Win (and Should Win) at the 2012 Academy Awards

Loren DiBlasi

Just when you thought you would never be able to forget the total train wreck that was James Franco and Anne Hathaway at last year’s Oscars ceremony, here we go again: The Academy Awards are this Sunday. So whose names will be called as winners of the coveted gold statuette? Do they really deserve to win-- and who might spoil it for them? Let’s break down the major categories and find out.

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