Voter also calls ‘I Can’t Breathe’ t-shirts bad taste
Want a glimpse into what the overwhelmingly white Oscar voting academy really thinks about “black movies” and black actors?
One Oscar voter provided a reason why the critically-acclaimed epic movie Selma was snubbed at the 87th Academy Awards, receiving only two nominations (Best Motion Picture, Best Song), while receiving no acting nor directing nods.
In a year in which not a single actor or director of color was nominated for any Academy Award, one anonymous female Academy member said what was really on her mind, perhaps to temper the smoldering anger that persists because Selma fans believes the movie was unjustifiably dismissed by the Academy.
“What no one wants to say out loud is that Selma is a well-crafted movie, but there’s no art to it,” the woman, one of the Academy’s 378-member public relations branch, told industry trade publication Hollywood Reporter.
Her nonsensical diatribe begs the question then: if Selma had “no art to it,” then why and how would it be nominated for Best Motion Picture?
Abandoning all vestiges of political correctness, and venturing into irrationality, the Oscar voter then pitched this thought to her interviewer:
“If the movie had been directed by a 60-year-old white male (instead of African-American woman Ava DuVernay), I don’t think that people would have been carrying on about it to the level that they were.”
Hmmm. Interesting rationale from this woman when you think about the heavily-acclaimed blockbuster film The Help, which was directed by a white male — and received four Academy Award nominations to boot, including one Oscar win (Octavia Spencer).
But I digress.
This Academy member admitted that most in the body of voters were older white males, reflecting the makeup of the movie industry, but she laughingly said the demographics did not impact the Oscar votes.
“When a movie about black people is good, members vote for it,” she said.
“But if the movie isn’t that good, am I supposed to vote for it just because it has black people in it?”
Really, woman?!? When has the Academy Awards voters ever voted for a mediocre black film? Heck, they hardly vote for black movies, period.
After you pick your bottom jaw off the floor and snap it back into place, check out her next statement. It was ironic that the movie came out in proximity to the time when both Michael Brown was shot and killed by police and Eric Garner was choked to death by the NYPD in Staten Island, N.Y. The Oscar voter scoffed at the cast wearing the “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts that quickly became an Oscar phenomenon.
“I’ve got to tell you, having the cast show up in T-shirts saying ‘I can’t breathe’ (at their New York premiere) — I thought that stuff was offensive.”
Maybe, just maybe, in an Academy and industry that is notoriously political and petty, that is why the film was spurned by the voters, and not because the film had “no art to it.”
But I digress.