This thread could get very dicey very fast, so I hope we can all stay within the etiquette of the situation.
As part of Billy Crystal's Oscar movie montage last night, he appeared in blackface as Sammy Davis Jr., a character he did frequently some 25 (!) years or so ago on "Saturday Night Live." I didn't think twice about it.
Today, though, I'm seeing this choice "boo'd" on the interwebs, and I'm realizing that a lot of people viewing it probably don't remember him doing this as a character and were thinking "whaa??"
I am 100% positive that Crystal had no
intent to do something rude or insensitive. I'm a little
more surprised (in retrospect) that no one connected with the Oscar broadcast caught the possible poor taste of the situation and nixed it, but, again, I suspect most of the writers/producers/etc of the show are my age or older, have this thoroughly in their memory as a "bit" and didn't have the "updated software
" in their brains as to why this might be a bad idea.
So---was it rude?
If yes, should Crystal or the Oscar show people apologize to anyone? Who? and How?
Should Billy Crystal retire this character (I doubt he'd want to do it again, anyway---how often does the opportunity come up to play Sammy Davis, but if it did, should he say "no, can't do it"?
Or was it ok and not at all rude?