The Academy Talks of Progressivism, But Their Actions Tell A Different Story
Update on March 29, 2022: I published this post before Will Smith assaulted Chris Rock. I honestly didn’t think the Academy Awards could do much worse than what they pulled last year (see below), but here we are.
As for the Oscars this year, it was a disgrace. Again. A multi-millionaire assaulted another multi-millionaire on live TV in front of millions of people. The violent criminal was comforted by other Hollywood stars, allowed to remain at the show, and then he won an Oscar for Best Actor. No charges. No penalties. No consequences after committing assault on another man. Will Smith apologized yesterday, but again, imagine if us regular folk did what Will did. You think you’d have any consequences to pay for slapping another person after an uncontrolled emotional outburst? The Oscars were once again a textbook definition of elitism. Rules for thee, but not for me. Yet, I assure you, last year was a much worse display of elitism by Hollywood. Read below for more.
Last year, I wrote an op-ed about the Oscars and
Last year, I wrote an op-ed about the Oscars and submitted the story to newspapers across the country. According to a few editors who responded to me, this story was “too irate” to publish. It’s definitely has that type of tone, but for a good reason. With the 2022 Academy Awards being this weekend, here’s a little Oscars food for thought.
Written a day after the 93rd Academy Awards in 2021:
This morning, headlines fawned over the 93rd Oscars by describing viral moments, wins for minorities, and outfits that cost more than most Americans make in a year.
Yuh-jung Youn won the Oscar for best supporting actress for her performance in “Minari” on Sunday, which made history. She was the first Korean actor to win an Academy Award. It’s an incredible feat that smashes the glass ceiling the Academy has kept over Koreans for the last century. That’s right. It’s the ninety-third Oscars and Youn is the first Korean to win ANY Academy Award. In ninety-three years was Youn the only Korean performer worthy of an Academy Award? Are Koreans not talented enough to win Oscars? Or is Hollywood racist?
I wondered who selects the winners of the Oscars. Who is the Academy Awards? Maybe it’s a small group of racists in Hollywood. I mean, who else is actively discriminating against performers of different races at the Academy? I did some research. Turns out the same people getting the awards. Over 9,3000 Hollywood professionals vote for the Oscars. Woah. Stop the press. Is Hollywood run by the Proud Boys or are there over 9,000 racists making movies?
In 2002, Halle Berry was the first black woman to win an Oscar for Best Actress. No black actress has won since. I guess black women haven’t performed well in leading roles for the past 19 years. At least according to the Academy Awards and its 9,300 voters. Or maybe there’s not enough black women being cast as leads in films.
After thirteen years of blatant racism, April Reign created the #OscarsSoWhite campaign in 2015 to combat the lack of diversity at the Oscars. Because of April’s campaign Hollywood announced a massive change to its membership. Sweeping changes meant doubling the amount of colored people who could join the ‘prestigious’ Academy. Sounds like a good idea, except doubling 8% to 16% clearly hasn’t had the effect it should have on the Oscars.
In 2016, only one nominee in the major acting and directing categories was not white.
In 2020, months before George Floyd was murdered, only one … that’s right … only one black person was nominated for an Academy Award.
In 2021, a talented, kind, and inspirational black actor whose life was taking too soon posthumously lost the “Best Actor Award” to an eighty-three-year-old white guy (Anthony Hopkins). The snub of Chadwick Boseman was so bad that Hopkins paid tribute to the late actor after winning the award. Dying young, talented, and tragically can’t even get a colored person recognized by Hollywood.
And as listed earlier, there was Youn’s Oscar win in 2021. The media has been patting the Academy Awards’ back for allowing a Korean woman to win an Oscar. Why bother bringing up the 92 years of racism against Koreans before 2021? It’s almost like 92 years of white washing our movies is okay because we allowed Youn to win one for Koreans! See, the Academy Awards aren’t racist. They have one Korean!
Youn deserves the award, and has every right to be proud, but she shouldn’t have been the first Korean to win an Oscar. There’s no way in the 93 years the Academy Awards existed is Youn the only Korean worthy of earning an Oscar.
I obviously can’t list all the racist crap the Academy and Hollywood pulls and has pulled throughout its history. I’d never finish this story if I did because it would take years to document it all. Hollywood, as an institution, doesn’t care about minorities.
Yet, racism isn’t the only black eye of the 2021 Academy Awards.
The Oscars were held at Union Station in Los Angeles.
The famous among the common people!
Hollywood’s prime event prevented disabled Americans from accessing Union Station. Not just yesterday either. For the last month! I mean, a bunch of Hollywood stars and their suits needed to remind us they were still around. With the worldwide pandemic, they weren’t making movies. And they were a little bored being cooped up in mansions and vacation homes in the Hamptons during lockdowns. Americans needed to see our wonderful and progressive Hollywood stars, their handlers, and the studio suits who make movie magic happen.
How is this acceptable?
The Oscars disrupting one disabled person’s method of public transportation for a single day is unacceptable. Being disabled, having to deal with lockdowns, and a deadly pandemic seems hard enough. But nope! The Oscars even blocked people from accessing COVID-19 test sites near Union Station and disrupted the lives of residents at the Mozaic apartments. The Academy Awards also forced businesses around Union Station to close early or not even open. Like dealing with a pandemic and California’s lobbyist-inspired COVID protocols wasn’t hard enough for people and small businesses. (To be fair, some businesses saw an uptick in sales, but not all or even most.)
Local residents have protested, complained, and flown signs over Los Angeles demanding accountability from Hollywood elitists. You know what the Academy did? Gave $205,000 swag bags to every attendee of the Oscars. Regular people’s problems are not their concern.
(Writer’s Note: If you want a great recap of how awful the Academy Awards was for this community, read this piece by Alissa Walker.)
Racism. Disrupting commoners for weeks to celebrate themselves. Let’s throw in some sexism. That rounds out the Holy Trinity of shitty people.
There are payment discrepancies among actors and actresses.
According to Forbes, the top ten highest-paid actresses earn less than thirty cents for every dollar earned by actors. If that’s the discrepancy at the top of the chain, I imagine it gets worse if we examined further down. I haven’t been able to find that information though. Weird.
Female directors rarely sniff a nomination for Best Director.
And then there’s Harvey Weinstein.
Hollywood protected Harvey’s disgusting abuse of women for years. And by years, I mean decades. But he produced highly profitable movies. He gets a pass. He empowered women to become Hollywood stars by sexually assaulting them. Weinstein made millions and millions for movie studios with his keen eye for making great films. Let’s push aside his sexual assaults and abuse of power because they guy produces a ton of cash for movie studios!
That’s what Hollywood did.
They covered for a monster.
And not the first time.
Ask Bill Cosby.
Here’s an idea. Cancel the Oscars and host a glamorous award show for the medical professionals, scientists, teachers, and cops on the front lines of the world’s pandemic. Even better, host a bunch of events at the mansions of the 9,300 Academy Awards voters. You know, honor the people actually making sure humanity survives. Give back to the people who allow Hollywood to entertain us with our dollars. Maybe it’s just me, but something tells me America can survive without Hollywood, which is good, considering half of the film industry has already sold their souls to Beijing.
Don’t watch the Oscars.
Not because all of Hollywood is evil.
But those who see these things and say and do nothing only enable these behaviors.
Enough is enough.
Let’s do our part.
But if you do watch the show, I hope you find humor when Hollywood stars win Oscars and use their acceptance speech to tell you about income inequality, racism, sexism, and elitist monsters using their position in life to abuse those poorer than them. Because it appears Hollywood knows these things best. With the Academy Awards celebrating it on television every single year.
Writer’s Note: And it looks like 2022 is the same old Oscars bullshit. Here’s an expert from a piece that ran in USA Today on February 8:
“Experts appreciate the wins but say motion picture academy voters once again seem to have missed the mark, especially after the previous year’s gains.”