The Paddy Power Shaft awards

TAKE THAT OSCARS! Who will get the Shaft? Paddy Power announces competition to find the greatest black actor in history


It’s the Oscars on Sunday night over in Hollywood. It’s that time in the year when the movie industry’s most talented, most beautiful, most Caucasian people come together to give each other firm pats on the back and laugh at how it’s all a big stitch-up.

Often maligned, the Academy Awards remain the most most prestigious accolade any white actor can possibly hope to win in the course of their career.

Thanks to a suspiciously vanilla looking list of nominations, we already know that black people in attendance are going to be rarer than new Johnny Depp movies we’d actually pay money to see. Will Smith and his wife Jada have previously declared their intention to snub the ceremony while Spike Lee is going to be all Spike Lee and it being a cause in which he can feel very self-righteous, film-maker and white man, Michael Moore, is also going to be part of Team No Show.

In the absence of any recognition for black actors, Paddy Power have decided to what we do best – stick our noses in the hope of getting some cheap publicity stirring up some much needed debate. Through the medium of Twitter polls, we’re asking for help to decide on the best black actor never to have won an Oscar.

It basically works in your standard football World Cup format. Albeit without the massive corruption and free Rolexs for hosting it in an unlikely location.

  • On Wednesday morning we conduct a draw to put all 32 actors into eight groups of four
  • The top two from each group will progress to the last 16
  • We will have our quarter-finals on Thursday morning
  • Semi-finals happen on Thursday afternoon
  • The final will be held on Friday morning with the winner announced soon after

That’s about all there is to it. It’s set to be epic with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry facing off to decide who will land the soon-to-be-prestigious award, The Shaft.

Among the competitors are Samuel L. Jackson, Will Smith, Oprah Winfrey, Thandie Newton, Idris Elba, Wesley Snipes, Zoe Saldana, Ice Cube, and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

And to make matters more spicy, we’ve priced up the competition with good old fashioned odds. We don’t know the outcome, but if you fancy one of your favourite black actors to end up with the Shaft Award, it could be well worth showing your support by throwing a few quid on it.

Failing that, get on over to the Paddy Power Twitter and find the polls by searching #ShaftAward.

What do you think?