The night of the Academy Awards, where an industry that enabled Harvey Weinstein to perpetrate his heinous crimes over many years decides to condescendingly lecture the average American viewer over their moral shortcomings. And should I mention that one of these moral concerns is to alert the American public that they are upholding an institutional misogynistic society, complete with an underlying rape culture?
America’s response to this outrageous accusation is ‘no Hollywood – that’s just you.’ Being stuck inside the bubble that is the Hollywood film industry, it is understandable why those who spend their whole lives migrating from studio to studio, premiere to premiere, and award show to award show – who then extrapolate their beliefs to American society as a whole – would, to no one’s surprise, conclude that the world is sexist. In the film industry, there is indeed an unattainable (and sometimes physically dangerous) beauty standard which women must adhere to.
But in the rest of America, such a thing does exist. In Hollywood, producers and casting directors with the worst of intentions can leverage power over a young actress who just wants to catch her big break. And these producers and casting directors can promise her just that, only to spit her out when the fun is over and the money stops flowing. Does the average man in America have such authority, or even the means to act in such as way? Of course not.
So, whenever Hollywood sends one of their foot soldiers to virtue-signal on the podium it put there, the viewer must think they’ve accidentally switched the channel to the Hypocrite’s Choice Awards. Maybe the Hollywood apparatus should examine chapter six from Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life, so that they recognise that they should set their house in perfect order before they criticise the world (or, at least, clean their room). The Hollywood army is littered with case studies of its troops demanding the world be thoroughly cleaned whilst standing on a pile of their own rubbish.
For example, there’s climate change and private jet enthusiast Leonardo DiCaprio, whose jet fuel burning each flight must take one or two glaciers down with it. There’s Roman Polanski fan club President Meryl Streep, who commanded the standing ovation regiment when he won the Academy Award for Best Director with The Pianist in 2002. Not to worry, I’m sure a few hours of wearing an unaffordable black dress at the Golden Globes in solidarity with the #MeToo movement wiped her guilty conscience clean right there and then. Every year, like clockwork, the legions of left-wing Hollywood elitists all gather together in one place to viciously compete against each other at the game titled ‘who can virtue-signal the most?’
Let me tell you, the 2020 Academy Awards did not disappoint, with participants fighting tooth and nail against each other to place as a many social justice talking points into their speech as they could. The judges, all dressed in either tuxedos or dresses that are worth more than the average American’s car (or maybe house), gave its stunning approval of each contestant with ripples of applause. There is no winner though – why would there be in the age where every child gets a trophy? That’s how the game ended, but it began in spectacular fashion – before the red carpet was even rolled down, and the limousines had not yet been pumped with gasoline.
It’s now a tradition in Hollywood to cry oppression in unison at the sight of any nominations category that does not match the prescribed racial/sexual/gender/ad infinitum formula of the current year. For example, Natalie Portman, who won an Oscar for Best Actress in 2010, wasted no time in purchasing a $20,000 cape with the names of women directors who weren’t nominated for Best Director woven into the edges. In fact, Hollywood set is oppression telescope to fully zoom in on Greta Gerwig after she was “snubbed” for a Best Director nomination for Little Women.
Now, ‘snubbed’ is a big word to throw around Hollywood, as it implies that those standing on that podium, clutching the biggest award of their career with two tight sweaty fists (maybe from all the drugs?), all the while trying to hold back the emotional waterworks as they thank their family, friends and co-workers for all their support, does not deserve the reward that they are throttling. There is someone better than them. So, to assess Portman’s statements, let’s have a quick scan of the competition: Martin Scorsese; Sam Mendes; Quentin Tarantino; Todd Phillips; and Bong Joon-ho.
Scorsese and Tarantino are regarded as two of the greatest living directors, producing a myriad of cult-classics between them, as well as being Oscar winners themselves. Todd Phillips’ Joker became the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time, despite the liberal press trying to whip up a red-scare level of hysteria to chase people away from the theatres. Sam Mendes directed the movie that was the bookie’s favourite to be crowned Best Picture, whereas Bong Joon-ho directed the film which actually won Best Picture and took home the Best Director award in turn.
Anyways, let’s get out of the group stage of the competition and tuck straight into the final – the Academy Awards ceremony. In the opening act, (now starting with a musical performance because Kevin Hart forgot to purge his old tweets) the singer declared that she was a proud to be standing there as a queer woman of colour. Now, if I was going to collect a $225,000 goodie bag, I’d be proud to be there as well, even if I personally do possess all the physical characteristics that the intersectional, identity politics cult despises.
She (possible misgender crime there) set the bar high, but it came to Brad Pitt to blast it way into the stratosphere – through politics. In the very first line of his acceptance speech, he complained that the Senate did not give any stage-time to John Bolton, the former National Security Advisor. Then in an immediate attempt to out-woke himself, he gave his dues to Tarantino by mentioning that, should he make a movie about the impeachment proceedings, the adults would do the right thing.
What would be the right thing for adults to do, Brad? Would it be to resist any attempts at a coup of a democratically-elected President? Would the film’s plot consist of the Democratic Party, who have a monopolistic grip on Hollywood and Silicon Valley, accepting that they lost the election? Would they try to gain the support of the American people – instead of trying to subvert their decision – whilst continuing to unleash the futile weapons of identity politics and safe-space theory into an election race? Brad had done well, but his male privilege had unconsciously placed a glass ceiling over the competition, so it was down to a feminine combination consisting of Brie Larson, Sigourney Weaver, and Gal Gadot to smash it to smithereens.
After an unoriginal sketch in which relied on the old trope of ‘I hate men’, they presented the Oscar for Best Original Score, which was awarded (quite rightly, I might add) to Hildur Guðnadóttir for her work on Joker. Now, this is where the disastrous effects of identity politics seep in – did she win it because she produced the best original score of the bunch, or was she stood there holding the trophy because of her chromosomes? This is what happens when meritocracy is shattered – people question your achievements.
What happens when it is too close to call who has won an award beforehand, but the golden envelope declares that the victor is a woman or a person of colour (or both)? What happens in their future – they won an Oscar, but did they really deserve it? Despite the infestation of identity politics into the cultural sphere of Western society, quality still matters; after all, the Hollywood army needs to be equipped with warm mansions and suited with tuxedos and dresses at each premier, all of which is impossible to accomplish without generating some sort of profit.
An Academy Award is more than just a personal achievement; an Oscar is a massive CV boost which signals to a producer, who’s only got their eyes on money and awards (for more money), that one’s work is accredited. I will say it again; I believe Guðnadóttir deserved the award for Joker, but would a money-hungry producer feel the same? Now, speaking of Joker, we now move onto the final act. Joaquin Phoenix easily swept aside the competition in the Best Actor category for his performance as the Joker, and in keeping with the character he portrayed, his speech underwent a shocking transformation between the start and the end.
Joaquin Phoenix is a very humble man, so the speech began in a (what used to be) traditional Hollywood fashion, which saw him give credit to his fellow nominees, and thank the industry which handed him his dream of working in film. In what I believe was a reference to his character, he said the art of film gave him – and everyone else – the means to provide a ‘voice for the voiceless.’ But his concerns were not those of the downtrodden citizen, crippled in an environment of poverty, and drowning in a toxic society which could not give a damn about them. No – his concerns paralleled those of the Hollywood elites.
It was clear he took notes from the other contestants; he not only shoehorned in as many buzzwords into as little amount of time as possible, but also leapt onto the environmental (electric) bandwagon. He had beaten Leonardo DiCaprio for the Best Actor Oscar; he had now beaten him in environmental grandstanding; DiCaprio probably invited him for a glass of wine aboard the private jet after the event to congratulate him on his postulating.
Now actors can have their own personal opinions, and I believe that people such as Joaquin Phoenix truly want to make the world a better place for everyone, but – to paraphrase Ricky Gervais – they know absolutely nothing about the issues they are talking about. They are paid to act and sing for the people’s amusement, not be a propaganda arm of the Democratic Party. Phoenix starred in a movie where an out-of-touch economic and political elite view the ordinary people (who have had their concerns ignored whilst their living standards have remained dire) as clowns, and the lack of self-awareness on his part is astounding.
Do they all even know what it is like to be living the life of an ordinary American citizen? Do they all ever even leave the studio? It is clear that Hollywood do not understand the plight of everyday America, just as it is clear that ordinary America has stopped listening to them. This year’s performance of ‘who can virtue-signal the most’ now holds the record for having the lowest viewing figures in its history, and I hope that hits their piggy banks. In the words of Phoenix’s Joker, ‘you get what you deserve.’
Photo from libreshot.com