What the Oscars taught us about ourselves and why we can no longer afford to look away

Why bother?

It was bound to happen: there’s something about looking at a sea of faces that reflect one hue of America that makes you wonder if there’s a back story to the view that meets the eye.

The Oscars are Hollywood’s most venerable display of talent, creativity and flair. The conflict about the dearth of African Americans and other non- White Oscar nominees lazily gurgled last year, a blip on the national conscience, engulfed quietly in the voraciousness of our 24 hour news cycle.

What a difference a year makes.

This year, the issues that underpin the whiteness of Hollywood boiled over and erupted on prime time Sunday night. Chris Rock as the Master of Ceremonies was serendipitous: he could walk the spot-lighted balance of the conflict and keep a dialogue going with poignancy, hyperbole and glib that was funny while it struck at the heart of the issue.  Conflict is like that: it pokes its head up and challenges us to see it at the most inopportune and most opportune times.  So why bother with getting in front of a conflict and going about the untidy business of grappling with hard issues?  Because ignoring conflict only makes it grow more. There’s a lot Hollywood could have done to avert the conflict and generate real dialogue and new ways of dealing with an old American problem. Being able to realize the existence of the issue and having genuine intention to meaningfully take on the conflict is the first step.

Join us in our navigating conflict workshop on March 17th to explore how you can avert the conflicts and issues that are gurgling in your office and team. We’ll increase your skill at acknowledging and addressing conflict head on to build your relationships and mend a few fences that have fallen while conflicts were being neglected.

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Laura Max Rose

Laura is a writer, blogger, marketing maven, TV personality, wife + mama. She lives in the Southhampton neighborhood of Houston in an old, beloved brick house with her husband Ben and their dog, Hampton. She is currently about 40 months pregnant. Sorry, weeks. 40 weeks pregnant. Click here to read more about Laura and Jewish Penicillin.