Back to IndieWire

Michelle Rodriguez Says You Have To Be “Trashy And Black” To Win An Oscar

Michelle Rodriguez Says You Have To Be "Trashy And Black" To Win An Oscar

I love it when I come across something like this. It’s always guaranteed to get people talking. And, no doubt, there will be some of you who’ll be outraged by her comments, while others will agree with her.

Let’s see what happens this time.

In a very recent interviewMichelle Rodriguez sang her praises for Lee Daniels’ latest film, The Paperboy, which she saw at the Cannes Film Festival.

Though the film has received mainly negative reviews, calling everything from “outrageous,” to “uintentionally funny” and “campy,” the film does have its defenders, including, evidently, Ms. Rodriguez.

She was very impressed with Nicole Kidman’s performance in the film as a wacko, white trash slut, but she feels that Kidman has no chance of winning an Oscar, or even just be nominated for one, because… well read it for yourself:

“I f—g loved it. One of my friends said, ‘She’s going to get nominated for an Oscar for that.’ I was like, ‘Nah, man. She’s not black!’ I laugh, but it’s also very sad. It makes me want to cry. But I really believe. You have to be trashy and black to get nominated. You can’t just be trashy.”

Hmmmm…. ya think Michelle could be referring to two other Oscar-winning black actresses who, by the way, got their Oscars for their performances in Lee Daniels films (whether produced or directed)?

What do you say? Was Rodriguez speaking out of pocket, or telling the truth?

This Article is related to: News


Oscar Ramos

Truth Oscar’s are an American Prestige and American value’s Only is a trophy to distinguish Expecific certain people when the organization diside and not the public that are entertain by then ,who can be a truth fancy patriot. White prestige! That All Folks!


Michelle Rodriguez sleeps with Mexican lesbians when she's overweight. Otherwise, when she's in better shape, it's white men, preferably Jews.

See how easy it is to be offensive, Michelle?


No worries, Michelle. Soon the Academy will switch to "trashy and Hispanic," and you will be a shoo-in.


When black actors accept roles that portray Clownish, Bafoonish, Crude, Violent, Hypersexual, Ignorant behavior they perpetuate stereotypes that promote negative and hostile feelings toward the black-community.

Black people are painted with a very broad-brush when it comes to negative or bad behavior – it's not fair, but it's true.


SO TRUE. Liberal-Hollywood prefers stereotypical blacks because it perpetuate hostile and negative feelings towards the black-community as a whole. Thus, this keeps blacks from having a lot of influence on their "playground".

They prefer blacks speak slang, make self-deprecating jokes, trash-talk… they also have to be loud, crude, hypersexual, and the women have to be unrefined and unattractive… This is all a covert way to keep blacks in their place, so speak.


Rodriguez is an idiot. Actors/actresses get Oscars when they finally step out of their comfort zones and excel at roles that they've never done before. Mo'Nique did just that in Precious. She went from always playing the funny, comic-relief characters to *that.* It was excellent. Denzel won for Training Day as he had never before played an antagonist, at least not one that gritty. Same with Forest Whitaker, always a protagonist until The Last King of Scotland. So don't give me that skin color crap. Effort and versatility is what you need. Start playing something other than the slut-bitch scrapper Rodriguez, then maybe you'll win something. Oh, and you have to be good, too (something at which Kidman seems to be hit-and-miss).


Like the the top best website clich here high taste from France, and cheap to take you into the longchamp the world.Luxury experience longchamp bags, come the longchamp official website to specify the longchamp bags airport duty-free shops, site super longchamp2012 new. longchampsbagssale I believe a lot of MM like Longchamp bag, there are a lot of advantages of this package: rich color, stylebag from small to large bag, star effect, the price of civilians affinity, waterproof fabric, design a casual fashion, low-key temperament.

Ro Seivo

Leaving Las Vegas (Elisabeth Shue)

the pompatus of cinema

It was a racist comment. Even though her Harvard genealogist said she's 21% African, many latinos rep their black heritage others hate it with a passion. What she said was basically, "blacks getting the sh*t kicked out of them in Hollywood for 80 years is ok. But blacks getting awards,or for that matter, jobs, winning elections, is all unfair to real people. Because black people are innately unlaudable and can only take from other people who rightfully deserve things." Nice Michelle. So black people are going to rip off Nicole Kidman, huh? String 'em Uppp!"

Eustace Cromartie

What she said mad zero sense. All of actors have won Oscars for playing trashy or villainous roles. If you are always playing goodie to shoes and you step outside of the box and show the world a intense powerful performance you are more likely to win aka Halle and Denzel. It is easier for most actors (black or white) to play vile characters and win awards because everybody loves a good villain. Its funny how y'all are getting mad when the examples you give were written or directed by black people.(Precious, Training Day) Lets not get all hype about Halle either she was making BS choices for roles. Monster's Ball was her best role of her career. I wouldn't even call it trashy is was raw and her character was lost and hurting. Kate Winslett is always naked in here movies she has been nominated 6 times and has won to Oscars but nobody calls her or her roles trashy. It takes a great performance to win a Oscar. many times a black person gets nominated but it is not the best performance. For the record I am black and I have watched thousands of movies. I take 2 hours a day for my time to watch a new film so I see most of the Oscar performances. Oh yea stop bringing up Denzel and X because he didn't win, it just wasn't the best performance that year, nor was it one of his best.


I think she lacks the precise ability to articulate her words. But I completely understand what she's saying.


Michelle Rodriguez does have a point.. The black actors who have won Oscars in recent years are all brilliant. Jennifer Hudson and Monique, I just love their natural acting ability. However, Monique's character in Precious just had to be the meanest motherf***er ever. Halle Berry and Denzel Washington are two of the best actors around period,however,their Oscar wins came off of poor role models that happen to have been black. I'm looking forward to the day where we'll see people of color receiving Oscars off of characters with strong and positive substance..


These are all the Afr Am Oscar wins:
-1939 Hattie McDaniel Gone With Wind Best Supp A
-1963 Sidney Poitier Lilies Of The Field Best A
-1982 Louis Gossett Jr Officer & Gentleman Best Supp A
-1989 Denzel Washington Glory BSA
-1990 Whoopi Goldberg Ghost BSA
-1996 Cuba Gooding Jr Jerry Maguire BSA
-2001 Denzel Washington Training Day BA
-2001 Halle Berry Monster's Ball BA
-2004 Jamie Foxx Ray BA
-2004 Morgan Freeman Million Dollar Baby BSA
-2006 Forest Whitaker Idi Amin BA
-2006 JHud Dreamgirls BSA
-2009 Monique Precious BSA
-2011 Octavia Spencer The Help BSA
. . . . . . . . . . . Of these 14 wins, IMO only GWTHW (acceptable only bc for that time, 1939, this was the sole role AfrAm could have), Lilies, Officer& Gent, Ray, Idi Amin, Dreamgirls, and possibly The Help were worthy wins.
I feel the others were for negative stereotypical portrayals of Afr Am.


This is all the Afr Am who have won acting oscars.

1939 Hattie McDaniel Gone With Wind Best Supp A
1963 Sidney Poitier Lilies Of The Field Best A
1982 Louis Gossett Jr Officer & Gentleman Best Supp A
1989 Denzel Washington Glory BSA
1990 Whoopi Goldberg Ghost BSA
1996 Cuba Gooding Jr Jerry Maguire BSA
2001 Denzel Washington Training Day BA
2001 Halle Berry Monster's Ball BA
2004 Jamie Foxx Ray BA
2004 Morgan Freeman Million Dollar Baby BSA
2006 Forest Whitaker Idi Amin BA
2006 JHud Dreamgirls BSA
2009 Monique Precious BSA
2011 Octavia Spencer The Help BSA

Of these 14 wins, IMO only GWTHW (acceptable only bc for that time, 1939, this was the sole role AfrAm could have), Lilies, Officer& Gent, Ray, Idi Amin, Dreamgirls, and possibly The Help were worthy wins.
I feel the others were for negative stereotypical portrayals of Afr Am.


Charlize Theron in Monster? White trash no? I'm not sure whether or not I agree with the way she phrased her comment. You don't have to be black and trashy to win an Oscar. But if you're black, your character must be trashy or demeaning.. if not, you must be depicting a dead entertainer.


She's trashy and dark! Has she won an Oscar??

aw yeah son

Man I don't care WHAT she said, this chick just keeps getting hotter and hotter. People keep telling me she's gay and I hope that ain't true (not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Brands Snapback Hats

Are you currently a diehard fanatic of Los Angeles Lakers basketball team? That is wonderful for the reason that you can actually show your complete assistance for your preferred basketball group by getting and wearing Mitchell & Ness Lakers snapback hat. This is the perfect accessory that you'll be able to bring and wear whenever you watch the live game of Los Angeles Lakers. This snapback hat is very popular since it comes with the actual colors of the team, which is gold and purple.The Lakers logo is in front of the NFL Hats, embroidered in purple, while the Mitchell and Ness logo is embroidered at the back of the snapback hat. This hat is adjustable, so you do not need to be worried about finding the right size that would excellent suit you. For just $9.50, you can actually have your personal Lakers Snapback, Gold and Purple. What are you currently waiting for? Purchase Cheap NFL Hats and show the world how proud you are of your favored LA Lakers basketball team.

Are you currently a diehard fanatic of Los Angeles Lakers basketball team? That is impressive given that it is easy to show your complete assistance for your beloved basketball team by acquiring and wearing Brands Snapback Hats. This is the perfect accessory that you can easily bring and wear whenever you watch the live game of Los Angeles Lakers. This snapback hat is very famous due to the fact it comes with the actual colors of the team, which is gold and purple.The Lakers logo is in front of the hat, embroidered in purple, while the Mitchell and Ness logo is embroidered at the back of the snapback hat. This hat is adjustable, so you don't need to be worried about finding the right size that would perfect suit you. For just $9.50, you may have your own personal MLB Snapback Hats wholesale, Gold and Purple. What are you currently waiting for? Purchase the Gold and Purple MN Lakers snapback hat and show the world how proud you are of your beloved LA Lakers basketball team.


I agree with her, look at all of the Oscars, etc that have been given to black people. All were us being depicted of how they view us – Halle Berry had to be raped by a trashy white guy to get an Oscar? Denzel had to act like a thug, the ladies from the movie I refuse to watch The Help they had to play Aunt Jamimas to get this award. That is what she is talking about.


The title was very controversial and shocking but after reading her comments I have to admit that she is right. Bp cannot be glamourous, intelligent and moral and win award nowadays back in the sydney poiter days that wasnt the case but wp can be anything BUT trailer trash and win with the exception of miss theron of course. What she said could be misconstrued of course and was a little blunt but she has a real point.
Watch how 12 years a slave and half of a yellow sun will be roundly ignored by the acadamy voters.

Cree Seven

I am classified as black. I suspect that Ms. Rodriguez was stating the truth. Under the system of global white supremacy, only black people or, at the very least people who clearly are not white, are encouraged and rewarded for behaving in ways that would cause many people to feel justified in mistreating those like them.

Now those white folks who support that global system are spinning the statement to make it seem as if Rodriguez's statement was, itself, racist (white supremacists) and untrue. Denial is absolutely necessary to keep this system going.


At first, I defended her by telling myself she probably meant "AS OPPOSED TO A CLASSY ROLE" which in that case, I would have to agree because Denzel should not have received an Oscar for that role. Malcolm X or Glory easily were FAR better performances. HOWEVER, upon inspection and deep thought…she definitely was referring to Monique, IMO. Might have just lost a fan. Maybe if she stop playing the same Tough-Chick-with-a-Gun rolls and stop boozing, she can get an Oscar too.

Remember LOST? She doesn't either.
Sorry, but Dominicans are KNOWN for hating Black people and the African in their blood.


Can't believe so many of you are analyzing the words of this drunk dumbinacan.

Mark T

Glen ,Im assuming u meant quit usurping….. I couldnt agree more


She is an illegal and wants to call someone trashy??? Please go back home and usurping resources that should be only used by LEGAL US citizens!!!

SB Moseley

Not a stab at black people. The comment was made towards the industry.


I think she was speaking of this particular part being played by Nicole Kidman.

jean vigo

I guess Michelle needs to stop listening to her agent(s) and manager. Put down the machine guns and eject from the "Avatar" fighter ship for the quick and big money. Go find a role that you can do for less money, against your 10/15-percenters' advice, and see if you can pull it off….hmm., Charlize did trashy with a pay cut in "Monster" = Oscar; Julia did it in "Erin Brokovich" = Oscar; Sandra did it in "The Blind Side" = Oscar; Melissa did it in "The Fighter" = Oscar; and, well, Halle, who is both African- and Caucasian-American, did it in "Monster's Ball" = Oscar. Just a few off the top of my head.

The bigger point, whether Rodriguez intends it or not, is that it is a reflection of Academy voting, not great acting. Maybe she should be talking about the great work of underrated performers like Angela Bassett, Sophie Okenodo, Kerry Washington and Latinas such as Rosie Perez, Salma Hayak, and Zaide Silvia Guti̩rrez ("El Norte," an oft forgotten masterowrk of Latin-American cinema) Рand this is a short, short list Рwho can transcend looks and consistently do great work in everything they've appeared in.

A Real Chicagoan

Thanks Leonard Raymond, now I get it. At first I scratched my head, I do not know her to be that way, she is still good by me. #clarification


"Out of pocket" actually means a cash expenditure, often resulting in a financial loss.


And of course , the conversation was between her and her home girl Iriecema, not for the press and this home girl has jet dark, Black skin and use to hang with some Flavor Unit posse back in the day!


LOL at all of you trying to analyze a nutty buddy. This is a "headline" worthy of debate??? She's not even an "A-list" actress.


Right on Michelle right on x 10 -What she was implying and I have reached out to her for many a project, and you all know my stance and supreme Love for Latino films, What she was saying is that being Lee Daniels and White Hollywood feels that he threw dirt on their sacred pillars and they won't reward Nicole in this film at all, but had it been a Black woman or Man lowering them selves to below earthly depths they would have nominated and thrown the keys to Gold at them. Be a Black woman and be trashy and get awarded for it cause that's How Hollywood wants to see us and won't let go of that. She knows the real deal, it has nothing to do with not recognizing her Blackness, when she was on roller skates and rolling around Jersey City, she always referred to her self as a Afro Latino and once stated in a conversation "they will never ask my Black Ass to do a comedy" She speaking out of anger at how Hollywood is and remember I was around when they plucked her from chilling in Dirty Jersey to do Girl fight, she did not bang on their doors!!!


Michelle must be drinking again.


You know, its funnny…this makes me laugh and smh all at the same time. You people feed into it EVERY time. This is almost screaming for the attention and just as predicted you have the people who are offended by it and cause a ruckus. Why? Lighten up seriously…some people hear the word black and it sets them off I swear…it's not that serious people.


And this after finding out on Skip Gate's PBS Genealogy show that she is 21.5% African! Go figure! lol


I understand the point she was trying to make, but I still thought the comment was unnecessary. Nothing to get upset over, but nothing to applaud either.


The comment is so ignorant and mindless – I can't even be bothered by it. Additionally, what exactly is Michelle Rodriguez doing? Nothing. Hatin'…

I just saw Dr. Skip Gates do her genealogy and from what she said in the show, her family was basically extremely impoverished ("trashy") in Santo Domingo, DR… Is the pot calling the kettle black???


Love Michelle and this comment was awesome.


@ N'Jaila Rhee- I agree, she does have a history with alcohol. IMO, I think reporters purposefully seek actors like this who look and act like they've had too much libations (a.k.a the drank) so they can receive a response that will strike up controversy. I am in no way defending MR but I question how she would feel if Scarlett Johassen made a remark like that about Chicanos/Chicanas being trashy? She'd be the character in Girlfight once more.


Uh… Didn't Nicole Kidman already get an Academy Award for playing Virginia Wolf? Kinda makes the whole arguement null don't it? I can't get my pressure up over someone who doesn't know the news of her trade.


Charlise Theron.
Oscar winner.
It doesn't get more "trashy" than that.


Well then she should be getting an Oscar any day now.


Michelle is always out of pocket, but that is her personality. She has no filter. Check out her "FINDING YOUR ROOTS" episode ad-mixture results segment that was forwarded to me… she is colorful and could be seen as inflammatory. This is just her personality… see 47:09 into the video


Michelle Rodriguez's comment is very problematic in the sense that she's implying black actors and/or black films only get nominated for Oscars when ________(fill in the black). So I am compelled to challenge that notion. I mean, it's true, many of us complain and bemoan the Oscar committee for being nothing more than a club for the "good ol'boys & girls club". On the surface, it's a great argument that many black folks have wrapped their arms around. But wait, before I continue, I have to preface my comment with a dialog between two visitors/commenters on S&A. This is their exchange in a different forum (Twitter exchange)—>(( SonofBaldwin said: "I'm convinced that the S&A commenter "CareyCarey" is a plot to destroy black people". The other person replied: "You mean like a virus, intentionally and purposefully injected by you know who? :)")). Okay, at first I laughed but now I'm calling BULLSH*T! Yeah, I'm a plant :-(. Anyway, as I was saying, we all have given a serious side-eye and raised brow at the Oscar committee, however, I have to ask the question that's running around in my head. What "black" movie(s) or black actors have been left off the Oscar stage even though they gave a commanding performance, which should have garnered them, at the very least, a nomination? That question has bugged the shit out of me because I've watched every movie that has been nominated in the last 40 years and I am trying my best to see who, why and what black movies or black actors might have slipped between the cracks or off the radar. I am suggesting Michelle Rodriguez may have opened pandor's box, but what "evils" are really jumping out?


Michelle was merely speaking the truth of how prejudice and ignorant Hollywood is towards black actors with stereotypes. Easy to see.

Les Zack

Michelle Rodriguez is an idiot and there's no arguing about it, but I understand what she means, because there is a demeaning atmosphere in that hell hole that is called Hollywood that has a demand to degrade people of color.
Both Halle Berry and Denzel Washington had to play less than talent-worthy roles to achieve Tinseltown's highest award; Will Smith had to play the role of a "shuckle-n- jive" con man to be recognized as a talented actor. Holly wood would never demand of Brad Pitt to play such a role.


I think people are pretty off base in their interpretations tbh.

Imo, stepping away from typical pc sensitivities… MR is saying (w/ poor grammatical structure) that more often than not, in her opinion, roles depicting low income "trashy" or "ghetto" , are more likely to be acknowledged by The Academy, when they are struggling trashy BLACK/minority characters.

While her wording makes it a bit out of pocket, a more objective analysis of her opinion is actually touching upon truth. Perhaps call it white guilt, that an award ceremony definitely more likely to nominate and award white actors and actresses, will almost without fail, acknowledge the cliche "troubled black" character…struggling ghetto/ebonics black woman, southern and mistreated quasi-literate blacks, … or the down and out in and out of incarceration black dude.

White trash roles rarely stand a chance in the same way… It's not sad because the white woman playing a trash role doesn't have a fair shot… It's sad because, the minority almost default gets a nod with those same stereotype perpetuating roles… and rarely with anything else.


Slightly off base but on the right path. Just as the NAACP image awards skew towards what African Americans value in film, the Academy awards skew towards an older, white man's value system. With this in mind, Oscar winners will tend to be those whose parts strike a chord with the white male baby boomer crowd. Think Halle (young beautiful woman screwing the stuffing out of an old geezer) and Sharon Stone (upskirt interrogation scene) or films such as American Beauty (mid-life crisis) or anything with Clooney in it. Extending the argument, this is the reason why the more stereotypical African-American roles tend to have success (maids, corrupt cops, pimps, violent character) because they seem to represent "authentic" experiences. Hmm, now that I think about it, we also tend to reward the same stereotypical roles within the AA community. Maybe it's because once the mainstream starts to buzz about one of our films, we tend to fall in line with the school of thought. Either that or it goes back to the limited number of offerings.


So…in which of Meryl Streep's many Oscar-winning and nominated performances was trashy? The Iron Lady? Sophie's Choice?


I might be able to see her point a little if she phrased it differently. As it stands, it feels real out of pocket. What about Jennifer Hudson? Don't think anything was trashy about her role. And what about all the other women nominated for Oscars in non-trashy lead and supporting roles: Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Sophie Okonedo, Ruby Dee, Taraji P. Henson (for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), just to name a few….
White actresses nominated for playing arguably "trashy" or "ugly" roles: Kathy Bates (Misery), Charlize Theron (Monster), Glenn Close (Fatal Attraction), and maybe even Rooney Mara (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo).


I don't believe Viola or Octavia were trashy in their nominated roles. Sit DOWN.


@NO…Lee Daniels PRODUCED Master's Ballz, I mean "Monster's Ball." Sorry…


Weren't Melissa Leo and Christian Bale the epitome of "trash" in The Fighter? The whole movie was trashy…


A BIG HIGH FIVE!!! Ms. Rodriguez is not out of pocket. Her comment is snug as a bug in a rug. Well… actually… I don't like the negative connotation she laid on our past Oscar winners. And I certainly would not automatically assume she was referring to Lee Daniel's Precious. Granted, some would define Mo'Nique's character as "trashy", but personally, I would define Mo'Nique's performance as one of the best performance of all times, by a black actress. Yes, in all honesty, I believe her only contender would be Angela Bassett in "Whats Love Got To Do With It". So, although I said Ms. Rodriquez was on target, I might have to back up the train. However, looking back, I'll have to go back to see if any white actresses have been nominated for "trashy" roles. I think they have. I believe I can name a few that are closely related to everything trashy.


I guess that explains Angela Bassett's drought.

N'jaila Rhee

… So one or two black women being nominated a few years in a row means you HAVE to be both trashy AND Black. I hope this girl was drunk.

blah, blah

I think what she was saying was that the only way that they give Oscars to "trashy" women characters is if they are Black – if that helps. But she forgot about Charlize Theron in Monster (as mentioned below) and Julia Roberts as that "trashy" lawyers with the "big" boobs (I can't remember the film). In fact, the modern day Oscars, at least, has a history of giving the statue to women, who can get "ugly."


I get what she was saying. She doesnt seem to be talking about Black actors more than the people who decide how they want to see Black actors. Her perception seems to be in paralel to what prompted the post about Idris Elba not saying anything about the "plight" of Black actors.

Rod Gailes OBC

In Response I offer a favorite four word Hollywood Memory: JODIE FOSTER:The Accused or better yet 3 words: Chalize Theron: MONSTER.


i'm wondering if she didn't see Charlize Theron in Monster.


Michelle Rodriguez just was on PBS Finding My Roots. She found out she has 21.3 % of African Ancestry.. so I guess she's an expert now. ;).

Melissa Danielle

What I'd really like an actor to be brave enough to say aloud is the fact that Oscars are given to actors by their peers. What does it say about the folks you work with everyday, who know your talent and abilities, who deny you the validation and recognition that is the Oscar, year after year?




The only recent Oscar winners in the "trashy and black" categories are Halle Berry ("Monsters Ball") and Mo'Nique ("Precious"); the former was directed by Marc Foster and the latter by Lee Daniels.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *