The complete list of 2016 Oscars performers featured a number of talented nominees, but Anohni was not among them. Anohni, the first transgender performer to be nominated, is up for best original song for her song “Manta Ray” with J. Ralph from Racing Extinction.
Anohni has now decided to not attend the ceremony. In a statement on her website, she writes, “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. (There was a trans songwriter nominee named Angela Morley in the early 70’s who did some great work behind the scenes.)
“The truth is that I was not groomed for stardom and watered down for your enjoyment,” she continues later on. “As a transgendered artist, I have always occupied a place outside of the mainstream. I have gladly paid a price for speaking my truth in the face of loathing and idiocy.”
Anohni concludes: “So 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. But don’t forget that many of these celebrities are the trophies of billionaire corporations whose only intention it 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.”
Read the full essay at her website.