Hooray for Hollywood! Vox called the Oscars broadcast on ABC on Sunday night “historically weird.” That’s one way of putting it. “Interminable,” “insufferable,” and “painfully woke” might be more descriptive of an event that featured films literally no one had ever heard of, with a cast of nobodies, and directed by non-entities who were congratulated more for their sex and their color than for any achievement whatsoever.
It’s the new “woke Oscars” and it managed to attract only 9.85 million viewers. As recently as 1998, the Oscars broadcast had 57 million watching and praying for Titanic to win Best Picture. It did, despite the insufferable Leonardo DiCaprio and the interminable Kate Winslet tearing up the scenery.
But man, that James Cameron can sure tell a story.
Even the New York Times admits that the wokeness had viewers staying away in droves.
Increasingly, the ceremonies are less about entertainment honors and more about civic issues and progressive politics, which inevitably annoys half the audience. Regina King, a previous Oscar winner and the director of “One Night in Miami,” acknowledged as much at the top of the show.
“I know that a lot of you people at home want to reach for your remote when you feel like Hollywood is preaching to you,” she said. “But as the mother of a Black son, I know the fear that so many live with, and no amount of fame or fortune changes that.” A half-dozen honorees followed her lead and spoke about issues like racial justice and police brutality.
She doesn’t get it. No one gives a flying fig that she has a black son, but the Oscars are all about virtue signaling, and making sure everyone knows she cares is another way of showing how much she really deserves the Oscar. Does anyone actually support racial injustice or police brutality? This kind of incomprehensible stupidity from some who makes a living pretending to be someone else is another reason the ratings are in the tank.
Yes, there’s been a pandemic, and theaters were shuttered for much of the year, and yes, the releases of most of the big-budget blockbusters with all-star casts were held back during the pandemic. But, really. Is this the best the greatest entertainment industry in the history of human civilization could do?
The most-nominated movie on Sunday was “Mank.” It received 10 nods. Surveys before the show indicated most Americans had never even heard of it, much less watched it, despite its availability on Netflix. “Mank,” a love letter to Old Hollywood from David Fincher, won for production design and cinematography.
Nomadland received the award for Best Picture. The story of a woman losing her home and being homeless was supposed to say something profound about America: capitalism sucks, America is full of angry white people, and if we had socialism this wouldn’t have happened…or something. I’ll wait till it comes to HBO.
Hollywood patted themselves on the back for giving so many awards to people of color and women. After the stink made the last couple of years about no blacks or Hispanics or Asians winning anything, the industry decided that was going to change. It has, but we’ll leave it to the box office to tell us if it was a change for the better.