Thursday, January 15, 2015


This is pathetic:
For only the second time in nearly two decades, the 20 Academy Awards acting nominations went to a group made up entirely of white actors and actresses.

Among the notable snubs was David Oyelowo, who received praise for his turn as the late Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma.

In 2011, the 20 nominees also were entirely white. Before that, one has to go back to 1998 for an all-white acting group.
Selma was also snubbed for best director, best screenplay, and all technical awards. Why did this happen? Vox's Todd VanDerWerff thinks the answer is simple: "because the average Oscar voter is a 63-year-old white man."

But if that's the reason -- and I think it is -- what that says about the Academy is even worse than it seems.

Think about a 63-year-old white man. Assuming his 64th birthday will come later this year, he was born in 1951. That means he's old enough to remember the events depicted in Selma, which takes place in 1965, when he was 14. Granted, at that age he might have been more interested in sex or sports or movies or finding ways to buy beer. But how do you live through the civil rights era as a young person and not feel some connection to those events? You were 17 when Martin Luther King died -- how does that have no impact on you? And look at you now -- you're in an industry that prides itself on political progressivism. And even if you're a suit, you're in a business that calls itself creative -- do you do this while completely lacking empathy for anyone who's not like you?

Given the sorry state of most of Hollywood's output -- the CGI roman-numeral blockbusters and comedies about farting boy-men, greenlighted mostly by white males -- and given the near-total freeze-out of women in directorial roles (or in most acting roles beyond male stars' arm candy), I guess I know the answer. And it's pathetic.

Yes, sixty-something white men gave us a white Oscars. But given what they've lived through -- not just the civil rights movement, but all the other movements for human dignity of people other than Caucasian males -- sixty-something white men ought to have even a passing interest in people who aren't like themselves.

Narcissism: I guess that's associated with movies, too. That's the real problem here.




Anonymous said...

I'll be honest I didn't like the movie either. I thought it was a shitty movie because the acting was shitty.

Most of the time people spoke it felt like they were giving a monologue of a speech.

Now, that works when you are on a podium giving a speech to change the world at a political rally. That works when you are banging on the floor of congress. Hell it works when you are preaching or delivering a live play. But for movies, it sucks. It's shitty acting, and stinks of the worst sort of narcissism and acting directly for an award instead of to make a good movie. And that brought down the entire movie and made the entire thing a pile hot dog shit.

Last years big winner was minority centric, but it didn't suck. 12 years a slave was amazing. And that's entirely because the actors weren't fucking it up. It wasn't non stop speechifying in scenes were it wasn't appropriate.

12 years a slave was entertaining from start to finish. Selma was non stop ego masturbation and narcissistic speechifying on screen for awards.

M. Bouffant said...

But how do you live through the civil rights era as a young person and not feel some connection to those events? You were 17 when Martin Luther King died -- how does that have no impact on you?
Good question. We could ask Haley Barbour.

Greg said...

"Forget it, Jake, it's the Academy."

And don't EVEN get me started on "The Lego Movie" being shut out of Best Animated Film!

Look, the further we collectively get from elitist white-centric circle jerking, the better. And that's all I have to say about that.

Eric said...

Except for the New York Times, there's no section of American society that bows and scrapes at the altar of political correctness like Hollywood. And yet this bastion of liberalism disappointed you.

Quick! Let's blame whitey!

Dark Avenger said...

Your ass-hurt is duly noted, Eric.

Anonymous said...

The problem with this analysis about the 63-year-old white man is that it ain't like last year's Oscars were determined by something other than 63-year-old white men, or the year before that, or the year before that. The issue, such as it is, is that _this year_ something went awry _that didn't happen in recent years_. The demographics of the Oscar vote didn't shift in a year. So that's a bad explanation.

I expect what happened is that the brouhaha about the depiction of LBJ deprived the movie of award support -- from 63-year-old white men who remember the civil rights movement, think they were on the right side, and don't want to be called out by proxy for intolerance. IOW, it's not an "Academy voters suddenly became more racist" phenomenon. It's an "Academy voters didn't like the politics of _Selma_" phenomenon.

Victor said...

Look on the plus side:

They old white dudes didn't eliminate the "Best Leading/Supporting Actress" categories.