This may be more fun to watch than any movie I will see this year.
Something is foul in La-La Land, something is apparently horribly, horribly wrong, and this time, no one can blame it on conservatives.
The 2015 Oscar nominations are out, and ut-oh, the field for the top awards is whiter than the Lawrence Welk Fan Club. All those white folks. Damn, it looks like the 2016 Democratic Presidential Primary all over again. Whiter than Barry Manilow singing in a snow storm.
Or polar bear night at the Grand Old Opry.
Lots and lots of white.
So leave it to that sage of all things black, Michael Moore, to perfectly describe the problem, or at least, what he thinks it is:
“A fish rots from the head down,” he said, “and the head is over there in this industry. The problem has to get fixed in the studio system, which has been a white-dominated, male-dominated industry forever…”
Moore added, “…the idea that we could go two years in a row, where 40 actors could be nominated and none of them were black, is just crazy…”
(Just to clarify, Moore just happens to be a white guy. But he actually has more white skin all by himself than any four of the Osmond brothers, added together.)
Hollywood’s creative liberal elite are fit to be tied, and I don’t mean in the fun way.
Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, is leading the charge to boycott the Oscars in response to what she believes is a racist snub:
“Begging for acknowledgement, or even asking, diminishes dignity and diminishes power,” she said. “And we are a dignified people and we are powerful… Let’s let the academy do them, with all grace and love. And let’s do us differently.”
Separate but equal, anyone?
Oh… and Jada’s cohort in the boycott talk is the always quotable Spike Lee (who incidentally was robbed when he was passed over for the role of the Mayor of Munchkinland in NBC’s recent remake of “The Wiz”). He had this to say: “We need to have a serious discussion about diversity (in film)… It’s easier to be the president of the United States as a black person than to be head of a studio, or be head of a network.”
In fairness, American presidential races are popularity contests, while business leadership positions, even in Hollywood, are usually secured by establishing a time-tested track record, a resume. It is not a perfect system, but the limited positions available usually go to the best available talent on hand. You know Spike, kinda like the NBA.
And while it has been two years since a black person was nominated for an acting Oscar, black women have won four Best Supporting Actress statues since 2006. That means in the last 10 years, black women took 40 percent of the awards in that category. Pretty good representation for a race that makes up 13.2 percent of the country.
Keep in mind folks, awards for artistic achievement, particularly when you score them on a points system, are subject to wild swings in personal subjective opinion. This is not science, this is art. The legitimacy of the Academy Awards was lost forever with me with me when they chose to give the 1997 Best Picture Oscar to that glorified, light as a feather, “made for Lifetime” movie “Shakespeare in Love” over the heart-wrenching and all too accurate battlefield drama “Saving Private Ryan.”
There may be some legitimate complaints that the voting body of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is too old, too white and too male, but if membership in the academy is predicated upon working in the industry, it sounds like women and minorities need to step up the pace in their quest to qualify to join the entertainment workforce.
Ironically, the current head of the AMPAS, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, is a 66-year-old black woman. Her impassioned letter to the membership of her organization is featured here for your consideration. She is asking for more “inclusion.” I do have to ask, if her membership was enlightened enough in the last decade to award as many Oscars to minority actors as they did, and many more minority nominations in that time, what happened in the last two years to turn the esteemed artists into a bunch of insensitive racists?
On one point, I am gleefully confident. This is one mess that cannot be blamed on Donald Trump, Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh or any conservative that may agree with their philosophies. The entertainment industry is almost under the left-wing, control of the left wing, liberal establishment, and their politically correct, tree hugging, ar-teests. Whatever lack of “inclusion” or bigotry has occurred in the Oscar nominations and awards belongs lock, stock and barrel to them.