Opening Sunday night’s Academy Awards, host Regina King waxed political, beginning her monologue by referring to the verdict in the trial of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd. King also took a shot at what is left of the audience for the show, which has plunged in recent years, stating, “I know that a lot of you people at home would reach for your remote when you feel like Hollywood is preaching to you.”
“It has been quite a year,” King began. “And we are smack dab in the middle of it. We are mourning the loss of so many, and I have to be honest: If things had gone differently this past week in Minneapolis, I may have traded in my heels for marching boots. Now, I know that a lot of you people at home would reach for your remote when you feel like Hollywood is preaching to you, but as a mother of a black son, I know the fear that so many live with and no amount of fame and fortune changes that.”
In June 2020, King spoke with late-night show host Jimmy Kimmel about the police and the wave of protests, many of which turned violent.
“I feel like the protesting that is happening is necessary; these other charges that came up against these other three officers would not have happened without the protests,” she said. “But still, we have officers in Louisville who have not been charged for Breonna Taylor’s murder and there are so many other cases like that, and I’m just convinced that the only way we’re gonna change is to get out and vote and not just in the presidential election but on the local level and that means voting every year.”
“So I’ve just kind of been inspired to start educating myself, speaking to my friends, like Stephanie James of The Collective, Melina Abdullah of Black Lives Matter, and just giving myself civics education of finding out who candidates are, who can actually change policy, because at the end of the day, I feel like the only way we can make changes to these systemic problems is to make systematic changes,” she added.
Asked about her 24-year-old son, King responded, “I think in most black homes it’s not just a conversation, it’s an ongoing conversation and it never stops. You get to a place, especially when your children are at an age where they are looked at as adults, and the anger that they have is… it just compounds every time something like this happens, another moment that’s telling them that they’re not worthy, they’re not valuable, their lives aren’t valuable once they walk outside the comfort of their home. The conversation shifts every time because you have to find a way to support their feelings and make sure that you’re letting them know that you hear them, that you do mirror the same sentiment, but you don’t want them to do anything that’s gonna put themselves in a situation that they might not come back home, they may not talk to you again.”