|(from left to right) Robert Lopez, Idina Menzel, Demi Levato, "Elsa" from Frozen|
by Sharon H Chang
I don't pay much attention to the Academy Awards anymore for various reasons among them racial inequity, emphasis on commercialization, consumerism, and wealth, as well as the perpetuation of harmful normative stereotypes about practically everything from gender, gender roles and sexual orientation, to class, culture and language. And of course I'm the mother of a young child and just don't have time to watch movies. That said, there was one win that especially caught my multiracial eye this year. Robert Lopez along with his wife nabbed Best Original Song for their wildly popular ballad "Let It Go" from Disney's Frozen. Significantly, the award catapulted multiracial Filipino Robert Lopez to rare status, the 12th and youngest EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) winner ever. You know I pay attention to this stuff because my mixed race Asian son has so, so, so few racial role models that hold a solid standing in the public image. As he grows up I want to be able to point out leaders to him and say, "See! YOU can be a songwriter, politician, Olympian, CEO, activist, author, actor, etc. too!" But that's really hard to do right now when I can barely find children's books that reflect his racial image.
Anyway. So Robert Lopez. YES. Hadn't heard the song yet, but certainly made a point to after that. I screened it on YouTube thinking for sure I'd show it to kiddo. But then something else quickly caught my eye...