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By Andrea Peyser
February 2, 2016
Suppose they gave an Oscars ceremony and nobody came? Or rather, suppose they threw another tedious, self-congratulatory Hollywood circle jerk — and just a few white people showed up?
This is the fate facing Tinseltown’s most overrated awards fete, scheduled for Feb 28. Some African-Americans, and at least one white supporter, vow to skip the annual celebration of liberal politics, Botox and racism so blatant that not a single person of color was nominated this year or last for an acting Academy Award. No movie starring racial minorities has a shot at winning a Best Picture statue this year.
Who’s responsible for this travesty? Don’t blame political conservatives. We discriminated against no one. Republicans — all-purpose boogeypeople to the radical left — didn’t warp the film world.
And patriotic Americans, who’ve been dashed repeatedly by the Oscars’ rejection of films that reflect their values, committed no offense.
The trouncing of La-La Land diversity is a self-inflicted wound suffered by political progressives who run the realm of rich, hypocritical, Gulfstream jet-flying warriors against climate change and income inequality.
Apparently, partly in response to the viral hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, overlords of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that they aim to double its number of women and “diverse” members — by 2020.
The struggle for millionaires’ civil rights will not wait.
Will Smith is leading a boycott charge with his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and filmmakers Spike Lee and Michael Moore. Smith said on “Good Morning America” — insultingly — that the nominations demonstrate racial inequities plaguing the United States, which presumably he experiences from behind tinted limousine windows.
“When I look at it, the nominations reflect the academy. The academy reflects the industry, reflects Hollywood, and then the industry reflects America,” he lectured. “It reflects a series of challenges that we are having in our country at the moment.
“There’s a regressive slide towards separatism, towards racial and religious disharmony, and that’s not the Hollywood that I want to leave behind. That’s not the industry, that’s not the America, I want to leave behind.”
Word to the academy-overlooked “Concussion’’ star: This is no vast right-wing conspiracy.
Oscars were awarded on a more consistently racially diverse basis during the presidency of Republican George W. Bush than they are under Democrat Barack Obama. During the Bush years, Halle Berry, Denzel Washington and Jamie Foxx took home statues for leading roles, and Jennifer Hudson nabbed one for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
The last film featuring blacks to be lavishly honored by the academy was 2013’s “12 Years a Slave,’’ a brutal, but important, work based on the true story of a free black man kidnapped from upstate New York and enslaved in the 19th-century South.
It won Oscars for Best Picture, supporting actress and adapted screenplay.
Now, jump to this year.
The 2015 biopic “Straight Outta Compton,” which I thoroughly enjoyed, is an uplifting dramatization of the rags-to-riches journey of N.W.A. The African-American members of the 1980s rap group are shown overcoming street gangs, drugs, brutality purportedly inflicted by racist cops, and the FBI, which tried and failed to silence the catchy rap, “F- -k tha Police.” Perhaps that sentiment would best be directed at the academy.
The movie’s only Oscar nomination is for Best Original Screenplay.
Meanwhile, the white-dominated “Mad Max: Fury Road’’ (I missed this one) is a postapocalyptic car-chase movie not starring Mel Gibson. It nabbed 10 nominations, including ones for Best Picture and Directing.
Hollywood is sick with an even bigger prejudice — a pathological disdain for flag-waving, pro-military films.
Most gallingly, 2014’s box-office monster “American Sniper” got virtually no respect from the academy. Directed by Clint Eastwood, the film about the Navy SEAL sharpshooter Chris Kyle, beautifully played by Bradley Cooper, was nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor. (Eastwood wasn’t nominated.) The movie scored just one statue for sound editing.
The good news is that we shall overcome Hollywood racism. But I guarantee that out-of-touch movieland leftists won’t exhibit love for America anytime soon.