Members of Public Enemy aren’t happy with the use of “Fight the Power” during Sunday’s Oscars. The awards show started and ended with the song, with racism in Hollywood being the main subject of Chris Rock’s commentary as host.
In a statement to TMZ, Professor Griff said, “The show can’t claim the blackness of Public Enemy’s message.”
Griff isn’t the only one calling out the Oscars. In a series of tweets, Chuck D expressed his issues with the use of the song.
“The song FightThe Power is beyond me & the crew. The point of the song is a call to making change eventually not just applauding the thought,” he tweeted. “Art speaking. Fight The Power. Make change. Demand respect. Do your own awards RIGHT & give indie artists & actors a chance to make a LIVING.”
“I dont wanna hear about Oscars being white,” he tweeted in regards to #OscarsSoWhite. “Oscar been white. We have need black communities to support our ARTS as much as we do sports IMO.”
As many know, “Fight the Power” was also used in Spike Lee’s movie Do the Right Thing. However, Public Enemy doesn’t actually own the rights to the song; a record label does.
Byron Phillips, the Oscars’ music supervisor, told Entertainment Weekly what went into picking the song.
“[We wanted to] really set the tone for what the night was going to be and do something that was representative of Chris, and who Chris was, and the vibe and tone Chris wanted to set for the evening. There was obviously nothing more perfect than ‘Fight the Power’ for that.”
“You’ve never had a song like that open the Oscars,” he said. “I think anytime you do something that’s some dramatic break with what you’ve seen historically on the show, I think that people will always be interested in how it happened or certainly talk about it in social [media].”