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Listen: What Did You Expect? (by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)

Okay, okay. So you’re all upset that we gave Green Book the Oscar for Best Picture. Hell, some of our members here at the Academy probably are too. But before you throw a temper tantrum, just listen: What did you expect?

Okay, okay. So you’re all upset that we gave Green Book the Oscar for Best Picture. Hell, some of our members here at the Academy probably are too. But before you throw a temper tantrum, just listen:

What did you expect?

Out organization is 84 percent white and 69 percent male. We didn’t nominate a single black actor or actress for an award in 2015 and 2016. Remember La La Land? Many of us still think it should have won best picture.

We couldn’t even find a host this year – and the last time we didn’t have a host was 1989, and that went like shit. To be fair to us, we almost had a host for 2019, but as an organization that’s trying our best to look but not be progressive, we had to fire him. Also, we’re the people who thought cinematography and film editing, the two necessary conditions for making a film, weren’t important enough to air.

We’ve positioned ourselves as an association so inept at its basic functions that at this point it’s unfathomable that anyone could have faith in our judgment or decision making abilities. We set the bar for best picture so goddamn low that it’s “literally any movie except the one directed by the serial child rapist” and then tripped over it. Sure, Bohemian Rhapsody didn’t win best picture, but it won more awards than any other film did this year.

Why can’t you just shrug off Green Book’s best picture win? Sure, it’s a portrait of racism in the 1960s South so facile and wholly inaccurate that Don Shirley’s family called it a “symphony of lies.” What’s your point? The only way to make the horror of the black experience in America digestible for our overwhelmingly white, male membership is to strip it of all nuance, make the racist character a sympathetic white savior, and hire Mahershala Ali.

If a movie alleviates our white guilt, it gets an award. Those are the rules. Sorry, but BlackkKlansman and Black Panther (and though they weren’t nominated for best picture, If Beale Street Could Talk, Sorry to Bother You, and Blindspotting) made us think about racism, and that was pretty scary, so realistically, none of them ever had a shot at that award anyway.

Besides, we broke the record for most wins by black nominees ever last night! Moonlight won best picture in 2016! Isn’t that enough for you guys? Change is hard and we don’t like it! Why can’t you just let us progress at our own, glacial pace?

 

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