A little more than 20 years ago, Stacey Dash — though 28 at the time — leaped into America’s heart as Dionne, a high school student in the film “Clueless.” If that doesn’t ring a bell, Dionne was the spoiled-but-charming friend of Alicia Silverstone’s spoiled-but-charming Cher.
“Mr. Hall was way harsh,” Dionne said in one memorable scene that parodied the notion, then a novelty, that high school students would use cellphones between classes. “He gave me a C-minus!”
Since then, Dash has grown into a Fox News contributor valued in part for the conservative take on current events she offers as a person of color. And on Wednesday — which happened to be her 49th birthday — Dash weighed in on the recent Oscar diversity imbroglio, which saw Spike Lee, Jada Pinkett Smith and many others criticizing the fact that all 20 Academy Award acting nominees are white.
“Well, what do you think about this?” “Fox and Friends” host Steve Doocy asked Dash.
“I think it’s ludicrous,” said Dash. “… Because we have to make up our minds. Either we want to have segregation or integration, and if we don’t want segregation, then we have to get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards and the Image Awards, where you’re only awarded if you’re black. If it were the other way round, we would be in up arms. It’s a double standard.”
Doocy: “So you say there shouldn’t be a BET channel?”
“No,” Dash said. “I don’t think so, no. Just like there shouldn’t be a Black History Month. You know? We’re Americans. Period. That’s it.”
“Are you saying there shouldn’t be a Black History Month because there isn’t a white history month?”
Doocy then invoked the name of a man who inflames many: Al Sharpton. He asked Dash about Sharpton’s recent comment: “Hollywood is like the Rocky Mountains, the higher up you get the whiter it gets.”
“That’s not necessarily true,” Dash said — but then seemed to make room for those who thought it was true and who wanted to fix it. “And if it is, that needs to change,” she added.
Dash then appeared to blame President Obama.
“What I find astounding is that we’ve had a president who is black in office for the past eight years who gets most of his funding from the liberal elite in Hollywood,” Dash, who voted for Obama in 2008 but endorsed Mitt Romney in 2012, said. “Yet, there are not very many roles for people of color. How can that be, and why is it just now being addressed?”
Yet Dash, as her argument built, seemed to back into agreement with Spike Lee et. al. when Doocy wondered what Will Smith’s Oscar snub for “Concussion” said about the academy.
“Maybe they need to be more integrated, and there needs to be more diverse people in the process of electing … in the academy,” she said — the very issue academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, earlier this week, said she is trying to address.
Doocy pointed out that the academy is largely white and largely male. Dash seemed surprised.
“Really?” Dash said. “… I hope they’re looking for the best movies and the best actors. The good news is that there’s attention brought to it now.”
Still, it was the president’s fault, whatever it was.
“But like I said, for the past eight years we’ve had a president who’s black, who gets his funding mainly from Hollywood, the elite liberals,” Dash said. “So it’s odd to me that this has now become such an issue.”
Dash was promptly excoriated on Twitter.
BET also got in a punch, pointing out that Dash had appeared on the series “The Game,” which ran on the network. “Can we get our check back?” its tweet wondered.
Others defended Dash, pointing out that Morgan Freeman has also criticized Black History Month.
“Ridiculous,” Freeman told Mike Wallace on “60 Minutes” in 2005. “You’re going to relegate my history to a month? What are you going to do with yours? Which month is white history month?”
“How are we going to get rid of racism until—” Wallace began.
“Stop talking about it,” Freeman said. “I’m going to stop calling you a white man. And I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man. I know you as Mike Wallace. You know me as Morgan Freeman. You’re not going to say, ‘I know this white guy named Mike Wallace.’ Hear what I’m saying?”