One of the most perplexing moments of last night’s Oscar ceremony came when Mo’Nique picked up her Best Supproting Actress Oscar. She started off her speech (which was either heartfelt or insufferably faux-modest, depending on who you ask) by saying that she was glad the win proved the Academy chooses performances over politics.
It was unclear what she meant. Initially it seemed incredibly arrogant, as if she was saying she was indeed the best and deserved to win, while other parts of her speech suggested she may have been talking about race (she particularly referenced Hattie McDaniel, the first African American Oscar winner, who picked up an award for Gone With The Wind, and even modelled her outfit after McDaniel’s Oscar gown).
However it turns out it was none of these things, as MTV spoke to her backstage, where she revealed the ‘politics’ she was referring to was the fact people had criticised her decision not to campaign endlessly for the award. She said, “Through this journey and process, some journalists and some reporters wrote, ‘Somebody needs to teach Mo’Nique a lesson; someone needs to teach her how the game is played.’ I am proud to hold this Oscar in my hand, because the Academy said, ‘We are not willing to play the game.’ “
Well, that explains that. Mo’Nique also added, “Everything I wanted to say – and everything I needed to say – I said. I am a stand-up comedian who won an Oscar!”