At least one prominent personality is not climbing aboard the “La La Land” bandwagon as the musical closes in on the Oscars as the heavy favorite.
In a piece written for The Hollywood Reporter by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA legend and culture critic talks of a “rift in American pop culture that is nearly as contentious as the rift in American politics,” and writes: “As someone who finds ‘La La Land’ bold, daring and deserving of all its critical and financial success, I can also admit that there are a few elements that warrant closer examination, particularly regarding its portrayal of jazz, romance and people of color. In fact, the better a work of art is, the more we must dissect it, because now we’re not just measuring Rotten Tomatoes popularity or boffo box office, we’re assessing its proper place in our cultural canon.”
Jabbar takes issue in particular with one plot point — we won’t give it away, but encourage you to click here to read the piece on THR if you won’t be bothered by a spoiler. The six-time NBA champ says the twist is “a distasteful one for African-Americans,” and concludes that it “sends a bigoted message rippling through our society.”