The Oscar nominations haven’t even been announced yet, but already liberal activists are rubbing their hands together in anticipation, hoping they will get another opportunity to rage against the Hollywood racism machine. According to a new story in The Los Angeles Times, the Motion Picture Academy is nervous that there will be a repeat of last year, when the top four acting categories were absent of even a single black actor.
“If it’s all-white again, nobody’s going to be happy and there might be a growing perception that the academy is out of touch,” said USC history professor Steve Ross, author of several books about Hollywood politics. “It has to be a good performance, but, for some, if they’re deciding between Will Smith and somebody else, they might just go for Will Smith because of what happened last year.”
Unfortunately, reports the paper, there is a good chance that history will indeed repeat itself; only one black actor – Idris Elba – is predicted to be among the nominees.
“Some academy members,” writes the L.A. Times, “worry privately that another backlash could damage the institution’s reputation, particularly as award shows such as the Emmys and Grammys feature prominent winners of color.”
Winners of color. Really?
This is another in a long list of minority causes that greatly trouble white liberals even in the absence of any evidence that African-Americans care. Do blacks, as a matter of course, even follow the Academy Awards? One could perhaps argue a chicken-egg scenario – blacks would care more if they were prominently featured – but this seems like a case of whites creating a controversy where none need exist.
If academy voters, as Steve Ross predicts, vote for black actors to avoid the perception of racism, is it not even more insulting than the status quo? Does Will Smith want to take home an Oscar statue he received through what essentially amounts to affirmative action? What exactly would that prove? Wouldn’t black actors want to avoid even the faintest whiff of racial favoritism?
It would be silly to pretend that the Oscars are based solely on merit; the politicking that surrounds these awards rivals anything found on K Street. The American moviegoing public has largely rejected these awards as favoring only those movies that allow Hollywood to justify the other 99% of garbage films they churn out. As often as not, this means throwing Oscars at films that advance the liberal agenda without shame.
All this to say: Anyone who takes these awards seriously is misguided. These awards come with an agenda, and the bottom line of that agenda is to make money. If artistic black films regularly dominated the box office, the Oscars would change overnight. If the Twitter legions who find such injustice in the racial makeup of the categories really wanted to make a difference, they would go out and support black movies with their cash.
But that would require actually doing something; re-tweeting a hashtag is so much more convenient.