There’s a move right now among black members of Hollywood to boycott the Oscars because there wasn’t a single black nominee this year. On one level, this situation is a reflection of how Hollywood treats black people in general. So I get the urge to boycott. And apparently so does the academy, because they’ve just rolled out a new plan to make the academy and the process more diverse.
To which I say, too little, too late.
Let’s say things do change. If I was a black actor who won an Oscar at some future time, I’d stop and wonder: “Did I win because my performance was good, or because they need to get more black people on the stage?” It’s a lose/lose.
And really, on an entirely different level, who gives a shit what the academy thinks? It’s a shadowy organization with secretive membership. If you don’t even know who’s on the academy, how can it have any value? And speaking of value, an Oscar has zero. And I can prove it.
Nicolas Cage won an Oscar. What the hell was the last good thing he ever made? Need I remind anyone of this:
Meanwhile, you know who’s never won an Oscar. Harrison Ford. Great actor. One of the greatest of all time. He’s Han Solo, Indiana Jones, AND Jack Ryan for fuck’s sake. And hello, Blade Runner?! Compare every performance Nicolas Cage has ever done to every one of Ford’s and tell me which one is the better actor with the better body of work. And then look at which one has an Oscar.
Here’s list of other people who have never won an Oscar:
- Leonardo DiCaprio
- Gary Oldman
- Samuel L Jackson
- Bill Murray
- Gene Wilder
- Steve McQueen
And a bazillion other people. And, again, to really nail in this point, Ben Affleck has won an Oscar. The guy who made Gigli, which gave us a whole movie full of moments like these:
And, again, because I cannot emphasize this enough, Ben Affleck and Nicolas Cage have Academy Awards, and somehow none of the following was “Oscar” material:
So you’ll have to forgive me if I hold the academy with the same esteem I would hold a rotten turd. And that, in my opinion, is the only way to hold them, both for us as an audience and for the actors themselves.
If films really are an art form, then all of us are critics, so the opinions of a select few backroom Hollywood hobnobs means nothing. And if you’re an actor, which is more important to you: what the public and your fans think about your movies, or what the academy thinks about them?
So yes, the Oscars have a problem with race, but the Oscars are also an incredible stupid institution that shouldn’t have any bearing on anything, racism or not.