That 'Green Book' Oscar win is so our country right now

CNN/Stylemagazine.com Newswire | 2/25/2019, 1:52 p.m.
"Green Book" refers to the guidebook African Americans used to avoid segregation while traveling during and before the civil rights ...
"Green Book" refers to the guidebook African Americans used to avoid segregation while traveling during and before the civil rights era.

By Lisa Respers France, CNN

(CNN) -- "Green Book" refers to the guidebook African Americans used to avoid segregation while traveling during and before the civil rights era.

The movie of the same name has a scene with a white man teaching a black man how to eat fried chicken, while the white character drives him through the '60s South.

And it won the Oscar for best picture on Sunday night.

If that ain't America, nothing is.

Just like the nation remains split over issues of ethnicity and identity, the film has caused a divide between those who see it as celebrating friendship and those who see it as racist.

"Green Book" chronicles the real-life friendship between piano virtuoso Dr. Donald Shirley, played by best supporting actor Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali, and Tony Vallelonga, played by Viggo Mortensen, who served as his driver.

The film has faced criticism by some for seeming to reinforce the "white savior" trope used by Hollywood time and again in films having to do with race.

The movie's big win sparked a social media conversation that seized on phrases often used to express how not racist someone is, when in fact what they are saying can be construed as racist as hell.

Writer and former ESPN host Jemele Hill helped kick it off after she responded to a tweet that read: "Green Book doesn't see color."

"Green Book thinks you're so articulate," Hill countered.

An avalanche of commentary followed, including "Green Book says it has black friends." "Green Book wishes they'd just keep politics out of football," "Green Book wants to touch your hair" and "Green Book doesn't want you to find his medical school yearbook from the 80s."

And of course, the tweet which noted that "all movies matter."