If you’re the type of person who watches The Academy Awards because you think it means something, don’t be surprised when Selma loses out for Best Picture of the Year. It would be a much bigger surprise if it did. Hollywood thought it had proved last year it was full of good liberals with 12 Years A Slave. The attitude this time around is We gave you Solomon Northrup last year and you’re back again for Martin Luther King?
Selma isn’t going to lose because it wasn’t one of the best movies of 2014. Selma isn’t going to lose because Ava DuVernay can’t direct and David Oyelowo can’t act. Selma is going to lose because it was too damn uppity.
That’s not what I think because what I and you think about the movie doesn’t matter to the typical Oscar voter. They don’t care one bit about what the peons think. It only matters what they think as The Hollywood Reporter learned from one “brutally honest Oscar ballot” the first film to depict the civil rights struggle from a Black woman’s perspective has “no art to it” and “when a movie about Black people is good, members vote for it. But it the movie isn’t that good, am I supposed to vote for it because it has Black people in it?”
The Hollywood Reporter didn’t specify the race of the anonymous Oscar female voter who works in public relations (and presumably does that job better than these remarks would show) but the way she wears her White privilege like a perfume removes any doubt. What does matter is here we have an open window into how Academy member thinks about Selma and the director and actors “stirring up shit.”
First, let me say that I’m tired of all of this talk about “snubs” — I thought for every one of [the snubs] there was a justifiable reason. What no one wants to say out loud is that Selma is a well-crafted movie, but there’s no art to it. If the movie had been directed by a 60-year-old white male, I don’t think that people would have been carrying on about it to the level that they were. And as far as the accusations about the Academy being racist? Yes, most members are white males, but they are not the cast of Deliverance — they had to get into the Academy to begin with, so they’re not cretinous, snaggletoothed hillbillies. When a movie about black people is good, members vote for it. But if the movie isn’t that good, am I supposed to vote for it just because it has black people in it? 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. Did they want to be known for making the best movie of the year or for stirring up shit?
The p.r. flack isn’t completely wrong. The Academy isn’t made up by cretinous, snaggletoothed hillbillies. It’s worse than that. The Academy is made up with intelligent, educated professionals who think about Black people exactly the same way as cretinous, snaggletoothed hillbillies.
This is liberal Hollywood talking here, raw and unfiltered telling you what they really think when they’re talking among themselves, sending emails and text messages back and forth and lying in bed with someone else’s spouse. They clearly don’t think much about Black people who don’t stay in their lane and don’t act sufficiently grateful for being allowed to work in Hollywood.
Welcome to Post-Racial America. East of Narnia, South of Atlantis, North of Oz and Smack in the Middle of Nowhere.
It’s not only the actors who know how to recite lines when the cameras are on. You know what I find offensive? Brutally honest White people who are brutally racist when they tell Black people how they should act. That offends the shit out of me.