The New Oscar Controversy

As many of you may have heard, Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee are boycotting the Academy Awards because of their frustration with the lack of diversity. Actually, they are not so upset about lack of diversity, but mad that more black films/actors were not nominated. I also saw an article saying that the LGBT community was upset about the snubbing of Tangerine. It seems that every year when a film does not get a nomination, someone ends up being outraged.

Now do not get me wrong, I agree that there is a problem with the lack of diversity in movies and in the Academy’s decisions. However, I noticed from the stories about Smith and Lee that the films they were suggesting were Concussion and Chi-Raq. The first is a film starring Will Smith and the second is Spike Lee’s own film. Sorry, but this sounds more like sour grapes than being upset about equality.

Sorry, but Will Smith doing a terrible accent does not earn him a nomination. I read and listen to a bunch of movie stuff. None of the end of the year lists I read or heard had either movie on their top ten. Actually, I think one guy over at Filmspotting had Chi-Raq on his list. They all kept saying the same thing though, that 2015 was such a great year in movies that movies that were in their 11-30 list could have been in the top five or ten in other years. So obviously the Academy is going to have a tough time narrowing it down.

I like to believe they they do not even consider things like race or gender or whatever when they are making their selections. They just go with the best movies and performances. And yet that is not really the truth either, since the Academy seems to forget about movies from earlier in the year. Ex Machina

Remember how Ex Machina was getting all of the praise early in the year? It was on so many of those mid-year lists and even ended up on many end of the year lists. Two sites I really like, Filmspotting and Filmdrunk usually have very different opinions on movies. And yet they both loved Ex Machina. It only received two nominations: visual effects and writing. And yet you do not hear members of the Robot Community expressing outrage because Alicia Vikander did not get a nomination (okay fine, she did get one, but not for Ex Machina, I suppose it is impressive that a robot could end up playing a human so convincingly–sorry about the lame joke there).

I do not know how effective this outrage is when it comes to fighting a lack of diversity. This is one of those things that makes racists go “see, THEY are pulling the race card again.” Isn’t this the sort of thing that artists would hate? They want to be judged on their performance or the art itself.

I guess my point (if I ever really had one) is that every year there will be films that get left off the Academy Award nominations. There will be outrage when it is a film you enjoyed. To then blame it on some reason like racism or anti-LGBT (what is the -ism for this?) or anti-robot is just silly. Blame it on the fact that the people who nominate the movies have poor taste compared to you.

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