Monday, January 27, 2014

The 2014 Academy Awards, Golden Globe and Grammy black-out

The Hollyweird Snub
I confess to being totally clueless about the award show process:

It is a mystery on how they first nominate contenders and second decide on winners. This includes Golden Globes, Oscars, Grammys, American Music, Tonys, MTV VJs or Emmys Awards.

But this year I am even more baffled by the process than usual. And I think the process is so flawed that the integrity of these American institutions is called into question.

The Butler is snubbed by the Academy Awards and Golden Globe Awards.

Are you kidding me?

The critically acclaimed and mesmerizing civil rights movie, dating from the 1920's to present day events (election of President Obama), was without a doubt one of the best movies that I had seen not just this year but in decades. Forest Whitaker, Oprah, Lee Daniels (the director) and supporting cast created a timeless master piece.

This movie and cast deserved Award nominations -- plural.

I suspect the snub was political. In my opinion, America can look back (from a safe distance) at slavery (12 Years A Slave) and say it was morally wrong -- no problem there. To the average American, slavery was regional -- those damn southern confederates -- and it happened a long, long, long time ago.

Yet these same Americans (even in so-called liberal circles) struggle with contemporary examinations of social, economic and racial inequality: to close to home.


Hollywood appreciates and awards a movie when a white patron savior descends upon "the hood" to rescue a black victim (rescue them from their group pathologies). Sandra Bullock was crowned Best Actress by the Academy and Golden Globes for her 2010 role in The Blind Side.

She played a wealthy woman who rescued Baltimore Raven Michael Oher and helped him become a professional athlete. She was rewarded for a film that the real Michael Oher rejects:

In the movie, Oher is portrayed as somewhat slow-witted, lethargic and not athletic. The film suggests he didn’t know the basics of football before he was taken in by the well-to-do Tuohy family and put into shoulder pads.

The lack of respect of his sports know-how is the primary reason why Oher said he doesn’t like the movie. source

Just the type of Negro Hollywood loves...

Justin Timberlake wins best R&B Grammy and pop hip hop, suburban white act sweeps all the Hip Hop awards.

Before we delve into this outrage, just remember: The hip hop Holy Trinity -- Biggie Smalls, Tupac and Nas -- all never one single Grammy. So, from the jump, it is obvious that the panel of voters have zero appreciation for this music genre. Enuff said.

JT winning the best R&B Grammy....recount please! Now, JT has decent chops for a pop sensation and he definitely has a soulful swag, but just peep some of his competition and you tell me.

PJ Morton featuring Stevie Wonder: Only One.
Anthony Hamilton: Best of Me
Tomar Braxton:  War and Love

But at the end of the day, it is what it is, Hollywood recognition would be fitting but it's not necessary: we can and do affirm ourselves and support our artists. Just think, The Butler has grossed over 160 million dollars on a 30 million dollar budget -- and that is winning!


  1. I think I'm inclined to agree with your take on the "white savior" bit. I try hard not to do much on conspiracies, even when it's conspiracy-lite, but I also pride myself on attempting--often failing, but attempting!--to view all situations with as much objectivity as I can.

    To me, the evidence of the "white savior" bit is found easily and is blatant. What it stems from, however, is where it gets into guesswork; and my particular guess: The exceedingly low expectations white elites have for minorities creates a narrative that's told through art--that is, white people need to save non-whites, because non-whites can't save themselves.

    While I've been called a whackjob for bringing this up before, I even see it in movies where not a lot of others do. Avatar, for instance, was said to be this fantasy take on America's greed and how a push for resources will cripple the world. But that's not what I watched. I watched an entire people, simple yet elegant, turned into a massive victim that only a white person could save.

    There's something about these elites, at least the type of elites I know and I'm aware of, that doesn't embrace diversity. They're condescending, know-it-all people, IMO, who believe they're the top rung and everyone below is either stupid (dissenting whites) or a helpless victim (downtrodden minorities).

    They don't only snub movies like The Butler. From the Oscars to the Grammys, they're also famous for snubbing war pictures, dissenting political opinion, arthouse projects not packing elite star power, etc.

    To your last point about The Butler: It has grossed that much, with more to come, thanks to a broad audience that appreciates the film. Hollywood is for Hollywood's benefit, not the public's.

  2. @Josh....very well stated my friend. I concur with you in Avatar and I saw the same overtones as The Blindside. I detest this stereotyping by the so-called liberal elites: I deplore their selling of the victimhood of non-whites.

    That damn fox or wolf

  3. Haha... well, I think we pretty much have that "fox and wolf" covered! Yikes. No need for another 2,000 words that miss their target when 20 could've probably said it all!

    The Blindside was definitely a little hard to watch if you're aware of that narrative. I really, really like good sports movies, so I tried to block it out that it was one of those white-person-saves-the-day films. But they turned Oher into a pitiful sad sack of a person who, without upper-class white lady, is....well, we've both seen it. And I think it's no mystery why Oher himself wasn't much on it. They did their best to turn Oher into a less lucky, more tragic, less intelligent, heavier version of Forrest Gump.

    It's hard to even argue that one in a free market angle (e.g.: well, they're pandering to the 66%, etc).