Why the Oscars Need A Revamp: Oscar 2019 Nominees

At last year's Oscars, the show made a big deal of showcasing the #MeToo movement and highlighting women in various fields of the entertainment industry. Many of the attendees wore black to the event, and some of them even chose to wear Time's Up pins, showcasing their support of the #MeToo movement. Some actresses even brought activists as their guests, one of which was the founder of the #MeToo movement, Tarana Burke. The event went well, the message was made clear, and it seemed like the #MeToo movement had done its job. Right?

 

Except...it hadn't.

Of the eight movies nominated for Best Picture, two of them have people involved in the production that have sexual misconduct scandals. These films are Bohemian Rhapsody, directed by Bryan Singer, and Green Book, directed by Peter Farrelly. Both men have sexual misconduct allegations, Singer with far more than Farrelly. In fact, a few more accusers have just spoken out against Singer. However, Singer was fired from the film, and the producers rehired a different to director to complete the film, but Singer is still credited as the sole director, despite a different director (Dexter Fletcher), completing it. 

(It should be noted here that there are bigger critiques against Green Book, specifically its depiction of the friendship between the Mahershala Ali's character and Viggo Mortensen's character, but I am less knowledgeable about that controversy and therefore will not be discussing it.)

Additionally, in the Best Director category (for which Greta Gerwig was the only female nominee last year), there are no female directors. In the entirety of the Academy Awards history, there have only ever been five women to be nominated in the Best Director category. It's not like the Academy didn't have many to choose from, as To All The Boys I've Loved Before, You Were Never Really Here, and RBG were all released last year. Each of these films has above an 85% score on Rotten Tomatoes, with You Were Never Really Here gaining the lowest score at 89%.

 

So what? You may be asking yourself by this point in the article. The Oscars have never had equal representation with gender in the Best Director category, and the Oscars don't really care about sexual assault allegations. This is news to you? No, it isn't news to me. It's really only worth mentioning because literally last year they spoke about supporting the #MeToo movement and women. And what have they done this year? Literally, the exact same thing they have done since the Oscars have existed. 

My issue with the Oscars is how eagerly they supported the #MeToo movement last year, only to nominate this year two films that have sexual misconduct allegations surrounding them. Singer's sexual misconduct allegations far outweigh Farrelly's, as Farrelly's accusation is one from a 1999 sexual harassment, while Singer's are almost entirely sexual assault and range in dates from the last 20 years. 

The Oscars are looked at as the pinnacle of cinematic success. Every person in media dreams of winning an Oscar and preparing their Oscar speech. They're supposed to showcase the best of the best in cinema. To be completely honest, they don't anymore. 

It's become a game to many to guess on which film will win Best Picture or who will win in the other various categories. And, for almost the entirety of the award show's history, it's been a period and/or political piece that was culturally influential with already famous actors. The change in this trend has only existed for the last two year, as Shape of Water won Best Picture last year, and Moonlight won the year before that. 

The year before those won? Spotlight won. What is Spotlight? A political movie detailing the cover-up of sexual assaults by the Catholic Church, which was uncovered by a newspaper. While Spotlight is, objectively, a very good movie and has an interesting plot line, it is exactly what everyone expected to win. 

What the Oscars need to do in order to stay relevant and not become obsolete is to introduce younger people with different ideas of what a "good movie" is. The people in the Academy now all have roughly the same idea of what a "good movie" is and what a "good actor" is. They need to look themselves at the responses in social media - a large portion of which are negative, by the way, and determine how to change themselves in order to adapt to the new audience of people consuming entertainment. The Emmys, The Golden Globes, The Tonys and other major awards show have already begun this process. It's only a matter of time before the Oscars will or else they will become a meaningless title in people's eyes.

Also, for the record, The Favorite is my vote to win Best Picture. (But I hope it's Black Panther or the BlacKkKlansman). 

 

Do you agree with my argument about the Oscars? Who do you think will win Best Picture? Comment below!