I recall, a couple of years ago, or so, when I watched a red carpet reporter (or maybe it was an interviewer) butcher David Oyelowo’s last name, and get flustered, and even a bit frustrated in the process, as if it was David’s fault for having his last name.
O-Y-E-L-O-W-O. It’s right there. Even if one doesn’t get the pronunciation exactly right, given its rather obvious spelling (it’s not like there are a bunch of consonants following each other, like Krzyzewski), one really shouldn’t be so far off, and it doesn’t have to be so frustrating and flustering. Make the effort! The person being addressed deserves that, at least!
In the video below, Brad Pitt makes fun of the apparent trouble some have with Oyelowo’s last name, in song, at the Palm Springs International Film Festival Gala last night, where he presented Oyelowo with the breakthrough performance award. And despite it all being in good fun, I’m not so sure it’s much of a laughing matter. Or maybe Oyelowo should do what Lupita Nyong’o did last year (video underneath).