Now that the network TV corporate attachment to movie companies has gotten thicker and erased the line between news and entertainment, we don't see movie critics as weekly regulars on network morning news shows anymore. The late Gene Siskel, partner to the late Roger Ebert, was seen on CBS. Gene Shalit was on NBC's Today and the late Joel Siegel on ABC's Good Morning America. CBS is attached to Paramount (Entertainment Tonight), ABC to Disney and NBC to Universal. On the morning the Oscar nominations are to be announced, I usually switch to all three network to see if any black film contributors are in place to make nomination predictions and discuss the nominations after they're announced. Aside from the black anchor talent on network shows -- like Robin Roberts on GMA, Gayle King on CBS and Al Roker on Today, the appearances of black film critics or entertainment contributors is still, shall we say, Old School in its racial diversity. No segment producer for any of those shows has ever thought to invite Wesley Morris on for Oscar talk. Morris, now a columnist for The New York Times, won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for film criticism when he wrote for The Boston Globe.
This need for diversity in arts talk applies to theater criticism too. The Broadway musical hit Hamilton is one of hottest tickets in town. Tickets are nuclear hot. The music, lyrics and book were written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. This Puerto Rican New Yorker gave us the previous Broadway musical hit, In The Heights. There's youth and racial diversity aplenty in his critically-acclaimed Hamilton.
Thursday, I'll be eager to see the racial mix of guest contributors kicking off the Oscars countdown on ABC, CBS and NBC. I'd have loved to have been in the mix one year.