First transgender Oscar nominee to boycott ceremony

Los Angeles, Feb 26 (IANS) Anohni, the first transgender performer to be nominated for an Oscar, has decided to boycott the ceremony this year.

The singer wrote an essay for the online music magazine Pitchfork about why she will be skipping the Oscars ceremony, reports

Anohni is nominated for best original song for “Manta Ray”, a collaboration with J. Ralph from the documentary “Racing Extinction.”

While other best original song nominees Sam Smith, Lady Gaga and the Weeknd will be performing during the broadcast, Anohni’s performance was cut due to time constraints.

“I am the only transgendered performer ever to have been nominated for an Academy Award, and for that I thank the artists who nominated me. I was in Asia when I found out the news. I rushed home to prepare something, in case the music nominees would be asked to perform. Everyone was calling with excited congratulations,” Anohni wrote in the essay.

“A week later, Sam Smith, Lady Gaga, and the Weeknd were rolled out as the evening’s entertainment with more performers ‘soon to be announced.’ Confused, I sat and waited. Would someone be in touch? But as time bore on I heard nothing,” the singer continued.

Anohni went on to address the feelings of humiliation and disappointment she experienced as a result of the exclusion, before concluding with a blistering critique of the Academy.

“I have decided not to attend the Academy Awards this election year. I will not be lulled into submission with a few more well manufactured, feel-good ballads and a bit of good old fashioned T. and A. They are going to try to convince us that they have our best interests at heart by waving flags for identity politics and fake moral issues,” she wrote.

Anohni even said that many celebrities are “trophies of billionaire corporations whose only intention is to manipulate you into giving them your consent and the last of your money”.

“They have been paid to do a little tap dance to occupy you while Rome burns. These are the last days of a great American fake-out sponsored by ExxonMobil, Walmart, Amazon, Google, and Philip Morris. America, a country that is no longer contained by physical borders, aspires only for more power and control.

“I want to maximize my usefulness and advocate for the preservation of biodiversity and the pursuit of human decency within my sphere of influence,” the singer added.

The 88th Academy Awards ceremony will be held on Sunday.

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