The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences really put their foot into it with the Oscar nominations for this year. While it is hard to believe that in 2016 the Academy still has its head in the sand regarding diversity issues, what makes their obliviousness even more stupid is the fact they have all the flexibility in the world to at least appear to be doing the right thing. After all, the awards cannot be construed by any measure to be an entirely objective evaluation of performance and quality so there is no real defense to this kind of insensitivity. Really simple stuff to ensure that there is broad spectrum representation at least at the nomination stage. And hard to believe these after-the-fact tactics to bring in presenters of colour will have any mitigating effect at all on the backlash. What were they thinking?
In other Oscar musing, I did see “Room” the other week and it left me once again feeling very proud of the depth of talent in our country. How about the precocious young star, Joseph Tremblay? No media training needed there, that’s for sure.
Last night I finally saw “The Martian“. What a wonderful imaging of space pioneers by Ridley Scott. And certainly some interesting commentary on public relations, transparency, photo ops and managing crisis. Our profession really does have to start to think about the way we are perceived and portrayed in popular narratives.
The other film that had me reflecting on my last blog post was “Spotlight.” For those of you who haven’t seen it, this is the fine film about the Boston Globe exposé of systemic pedophilia among the Catholic clergy. It reminds us once again of how important professional investigative journalism has been in effecting real change in our society.
I guess what it all adds up to is that when Hollywood gets it right it can offer really powerful insight into critical issues that effect all of us. When it gets it wrong, well it is pretty bad. All that said, I am sure that millions of people will still be tuned in to watch on Sunday night. And all of the online protesting will probably not impact the numbers at all.