The Progressive Oscars: This Year’s Nominees, Re-Written for Social Justice


Well folks, it’s Oscar season — or would be, if anybody cared. The nominees for the year came out last week, presumably after the traditional kerfuffle among academy members over which soporific art film to shower with unctuous praise this year. Basically it’s like, whatever.

But where there’s an irrelevant non-issue, you can always count on the forces of online progressivism to fabricate a meaningless scandal. You know, just in case anyone was thinking about paying attention to the ceaseless parade of actual injustice that is the actual news. Currently, outraged progressives are valiantly complaining that the Academy is honoring too many white males. It’s the whitest oscars since 1998! Al Sharpton is calling an “emergency meeting!” In fact, of the nominees for best actor, one hundred percent are men! Facts.

Naturally, we at PJ Media take these issues very seriously. So I’ve taken it upon myself to rewrite this year’s best picture nominees to make them more politically correct. I know, I know — it’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it. And let’s face it, I’m the most virtuous person I know. Plus luckily I haven’t seen most of these movies, which makes it easier.

So without further ado, I bring you: The Progressive Oscars! Here are three of the nominees, rewritten for a better tomorrow.

We’ll start with American Sniper. The film as it is dramatizes the heroics of Chris Kyle, the deadliest sniper in the history of the American military. Bradley Cooper plays Kyle, a Navy SEAL whose deadeye precision was a lynchpin of the war effort in Iraq. The number of lives Kyle saved is beyond counting; his courage was unwavering in the face of impossible responsibility. The movie is a complex treatment of his incredible story.

But never fear. Michael Moore, America’s favorite petulant windbag, is here to expose American Sniper’s irresponsible jingoism. On Twitter (that great bastion of reasonable discourse and intellectual courage), Moore derided snipers as “cowards,” implying that the real heroes of Kyle’s story were the Iraqis who shot at him. A pampered documentarian posting venomous tripe on social media is obviously the arbiter and exemplar of bravery. Thus American Sniper’s progressive re-write, Michael Moore to the Rescue, will be an inspiring fictional saga in which Moore is airlifted into an Iraqi war zone armed with only his video camera. Moore will daringly confront the ringleaders of al-Qaeda by pointing out the scandalous inequalities in their economic system, using his whiniest voice. Our hero will then fumble uselessly with his camera for thirteen seconds of blind panic before soiling himself and running for the hills, leaving al-Qaeda to engulf the region in nightmarish brutality. Thanks, Michael Moore!

Next up is The Imitation Game. In its current form, the movie tells the story of Alan Turing, the math genius whose brilliant cryptographic work during World War II cracked a Nazi code and led to the invention of the computer. Turing shaved years off of the war and millions off of its death toll. The movie compresses Turing’s feat into a compelling race against time, suffused with the prodigious talent and offbeat charisma of nerdgirl heartthrob Benedict Cumberbatch. Tragically, Turing was eventually tormented into suicide by an inhumane British law that persecuted him for being homosexual.

But never mind all that — obviously the great injustice here is that Turing was white. How dare he?! And how dare Hollywood celebrate yet another white man. I mean, come on: as Alexandra Petri pointed out in The Washington Post, “Do we really need another movie about a middle-aged man . . . who yells at people and writes equations and squinches up his face and solves things?” Yeah! The progressive version will be called White People Don’t Matter, Especially not Alan Turing. It will leave Turing’s legacy in defamed obscurity, focusing instead on Keira Knightley’s character, who is at least a woman and seems really good at crossword puzzles. You go, girl! Also apparently the film wasn’t nuanced enough in its condemnation of Nazis. So the new movie will make sure to include an improbable romance between Turing and a sensitive SS officer with a soft spot for show tunes. That way, the new version of the film will exonerate the racist homophobes who enslaved Europe, while ignoring the under-appreciated accomplishments of an actual gay war hero. Ah, progressivism.

Then there’s The Theory of Everything. Eddie Redmayne plays superstar physicist Stephen Hawking, capturing Hawking’s uplifting determination to sound the depths of the universe in the face of motor neuron disease. No one has any idea what Hawking’s theories mean, but never mind: Redmayne looks so cute and goofy in that blazer. And anyway it’s just a movie.

But according to Frances Ryan, it’s also an unconscionable affront to the disabled. Able-bodied actors shouldn’t play characters with degenerative diseases. “We wouldn’t accept actors blacking up,” Ryan rails, “so why applaud ‘cripping up?’” Quite right — of course the deplorably racist history of minstrelsy is directly comparable to a modern actor embodying someone else with a different set of life experiences (otherwise known as acting). So in the progressive re-write, The Exact Thing that Happened, Precisely as it Was, all characters will be played by actors whose physiognomy and life story are entirely identical to those of their characters. In fact, all characters will be played by themselves. Actually, by the versions of themselves that existed in 1963. Just to make sure everyone is accurately represented. In a related announcement, there will now be no more movies. Or performance of any kind. It’s only fair.

Whew, that was close — the patriarchy almost won! That should do it for now. But there are still plenty of racist, sexist, cisnormative films to be re-written. Post your ideas for more progressive re-writes in the comments, and be sure to tune in on the big night to see which film wins. Or not. You could also just watch football or something.