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Author Topic: Clint and the "white" Oscars  (Read 7610 times)
right turn clyde
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« on: January 24, 2016, 02:14:21 AM »

Clint making good sense over the "white" Oscars story, how they have to be earned and not just handed out.

Must be really dreadful for Will Smith and his "wife" to be sitting in their mansion with millions in the bank bemoaning the fact they want to be given an award, as if the paycheques aren't enough. #realitycheck

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3413683/Clint-Eastwood-wades-Oscars-diversity-debate-Silence-Lambs-director-says-changes-happen-now.html
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AKA23
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2016, 09:41:39 AM »

I personally think that the ire directed at the Academy for the lack of minority representation at the Academy Awards is misplaced. I think the reason that not that many minority candidates are nominated is that there really isn't enough diversity in the movies that Hollywood chooses to make. That problem would be better addressed by the heads of Hollywood studios who are tasked with greenlighting projects, not by attacking the Academy. If very few Oscar calibre movies are produced that feature minority actors and actresses, it is very difficult for Academy members to vote for them. With the exception of "Beasts of No Nation," I didn't personally see any black performances that I felt were candidates for an Oscar, and I think Idris Elba wasn't nominated for "Beasts of No Nation" because it was a Netlix movie and its depiction of child soldiers wasn't widely seen or particularly entertaining. I think that the changes that the Academy has made sound like they're a good first step, but the real solution is more movies which feature more worthy minority candidates with a wider diversity of stories and films.

Clint is right that most people in the industry don't have an Oscar, and that many worthy candidates for an Oscar are not nominated. Clint himself wasn't nominated for a Best Director Oscar for "American Sniper" last year, and Ridley Scott wasn't nominated for "The Martian," despite both films being nominated for Best Picture. However, I think that Clint sometimes gets himself into trouble with how he phrases things. His comments make him seem like he doesn't care about the lack of minority representation at the Academy Awards, but as a filmmaker, he has consistently featured minorities in prominent roles. His record as a director demonstrates that he obviously does care about making sure that minority actors and actresses are represented and given opportunities in the industry, but his comments are not in line with his record on the issue.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2016, 09:43:16 AM by AKA23 » Logged
Matt
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2016, 09:59:55 AM »

Right Turn Clyde, great to see you back here on the board.  Take the Eastwood Movie Challenge with us! It starts this week!

About the article you posted -- thanks for that link. I've read about this, but not such a good article until now. I can see both sides of it, but until I saw the statistics, I really didn't realize how big a problem it was:

Quote
In 2012, the LA Times found there were 5, 765 voting members, 94% of whom were Caucasian and 77% male

Only 2% at that time were black and less than 2% were Latino

The newspaper found the group had a median age of 62

In 2013 they found 93% white and 76% male and the average age inched up to 63

To not have one black nomination in the acting category over two years, and all 40 of the nominations white does seem to have its problems.

In any case, the changes they mentioned making sound like a good step for change. Although, I don't like the idea of having quotas, I do think opening the academy to more non-Caucasian members will make a world of difference. I also think it's important that voting members have seen all the films nominated.
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Matt
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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2016, 10:22:51 AM »

I personally think that the ire directed at the Academy for the lack of minority representation at the Academy Awards is misplaced. I think the reason that not that many minority candidates are nominated is that there really isn't enough diversity in the movies that Hollywood chooses to make. That problem would be better addressed by the heads of Hollywood studios who are tasked with greenlighting projects, not by attacking the Academy. If very few Oscar calibre movies are produced that feature minority actors and actresses, it is very difficult for Academy members to vote for them. With the exception of "Beasts of No Nation," I didn't personally see any black performances that I felt were candidates for an Oscar, and I think Idris Elba wasn't nominated for "Beasts of No Nation" because it was a Netlix movie and its depiction of child soldiers wasn't widely seen or particularly entertaining. I think that the changes that the Academy has made sound like they're a good first step, but the real solution is more movies which feature more worthy minority candidates with a wider diversity of stories and films.

Clint is right that most people in the industry don't have an Oscar, and that many worthy candidates for an Oscar are not nominated. Clint himself wasn't nominated for a Best Director Oscar for "American Sniper" last year, and Ridley Scott wasn't nominated for "The Martian," despite both films being nominated for Best Picture. However, I think that Clint sometimes gets himself into trouble with how he phrases things. His comments make him seem like he doesn't care about the lack of minority representation at the Academy Awards, but as a filmmaker, he has consistently featured minorities in prominent roles. His record as a director demonstrates that he obviously does care about making sure that minority actors and actresses are represented and given opportunities in the industry, but his comments are not in line with his record on the issue.

Great post, AKA. I agree with you. The journalist who wrote the story didn't do any favors with the pic of Clint and this caption:

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He's a winner: Clint Eastwood, 85, slammed the Oscars race row saying the majority of Academy members haven't won one. He has won four Academy Awards during his long career

But, it's true too.

The changes they're making sound like good changes. They're looking to double the number of women and minorities in the voting membership of the Academy. Definitely a step in the right direction, as you can see from the statistics of 93% white, 76% male.  Average age of 63? Wow! Where else will you find an average age that old? Maybe in a retirement home. Can you see now why maybe we don't have a great performance like Michael B Jordan's from Creed or the director of the film Ryan Coogler (both black) being nominated? Not with those statistics. And they definitely could have been, and maybe should have been.

So they're taking away "lifetime voting rights" except for those who have won an Oscar. Excellent change that will ensure we get some movies that have more of a youthful feel to them. Let's face it, these white male 63 year old men might not be out there watching all of the best movies unless they know the people involved in them. As William H. Macy said:

Quote
My take on this story is that there is no conspiracy, it is the Academy. It is mostly a bunch of white guys.  And I am guilty of it too. We gravitate to our own.

So, going back to what AKA wrote -- the problem is more the studios not greenlighting projects that might have more black actors in them, or for more black directors. Well... when you have 93% of the voting Academy white, maybe that's why. Who doesn't want Academy Award nominated films for their studios? They bring in big bucks.

They're making some good changes here now. Good for them.  O0
« Last Edit: January 24, 2016, 10:39:58 AM by Matt » Logged
Conan
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2016, 12:04:32 PM »

  "We gravitate to our own" certainly applies to moviegoers.  I've always thought that the only color movie producers see is "green".  First and foremost they know the moviegoing audience mostly want to see attractive people, and so the vast majority of actors (and basically all lead roles) look good.  Back in 2009, Howard Stern was vilified for saying that Gabourey Sidibe's only lead role will be in Precious.  He was making a comment on moviegoers, and not on the actress...but it was easier for people to attack Howard Stern.  Sadly, he turned out to be right. 

  You could probably breakdown the percentages of racial ethnicities you see in movies by the racial breakdown of the United States.  For example, the U.S. is roughly 5 percent Asian and I see about that many percent of Asian folks in American movies.  I live near a town called Morrisville.  Its about 70 percent Indian, and everyone jokingly calls it "Little India".  You can guess what racial ethnicity is represented in many of the movies the theatres there.  Usually at least half of the movies shown in the biggest theatre at any given time are Bollywood movies showcasing Indian actors.

  Many movies nowadays are made with foreign markets in mind.  Chinese actors were shoehorned into Iron Man 3 for the mainland China market.  A race was put into a movie to appease moviegoers of that race:  http://www.businessinsider.com/chinas-version-of-iron-man-3-2013-5

  I've seen probably close to a hundred local movies in Asian countries (mainly Hong Kong, Singapore, and Thailand), and I would sometimes see a white guy - who was often a villain's "exotic" henchman - but I don't remember seeing a person of color ever.  In my opinion the U.S. movie industry as a whole compared to the rest of the World, is actually more diverse.

  In terms of what movies are made...I don't think its about academies or even producers, it all comes down to moviegoers themselves and what they want to see whether consciously or in this case, subconsciously.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2016, 12:18:00 PM by Conan » Logged

Matt
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2016, 12:31:26 PM »


  I've seen probably close to a hundred local movies in Asian countries (mainly Hong Kong, Singapore, and Thailand), and I would sometimes see a white guy - who was often a villain's "exotic" henchman - but I don't remember seeing a person of color ever.  In my opinion the U.S. movie industry as a whole compared to the rest of the World, is actually more diverse.


Yeah, that's very true. When I spent a couple of years watching only Asian films and television, I'd almost never see anyone who wasn't Asian. The only speaking parts that I can think of went to some German actors (playing Swedish soldiers) in Joint Security Area, and a seriously bad actor from a TV show that played his American part like a bad impression of Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

I think it takes a lot of courage for Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith to go public with this the way they did. They do risk looking like spoiled, angry elitists that want awards. But, without making a stand the way they did, there wouldn't be the changes they're talking about making. And so it was for the best. It is a little bit like John Lennon and Yoko Ono who campaigned for peace, even if it cast them as liberal hippies (okay, they were), but this is much the same as the Smiths... they make themselves look like a mockery to many, but at the benefit of making waves that might bring about change.
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« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2016, 09:06:46 AM »


I think it takes a lot of courage for Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith to go public with this the way they did. They do risk looking like spoiled, angry elitists that want awards. But, without making a stand the way they did, there wouldn't be the changes they're talking about making. And so it was for the best. It is a little bit like John Lennon and Yoko Ono who campaigned for peace, even if it cast them as liberal hippies (okay, they were), but this is much the same as the Smiths... they make themselves look like a mockery to many, but at the benefit of making waves that might bring about change.

I have to agree with you Matt. They are putting themselves out there, trying to be the change.
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« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2016, 02:21:08 PM »

I have to agree with you Matt. They are putting themselves out there, trying to be the change.

While I see where you and Matt are coming from, I disagree. I think that the reason that Will and Jada are boycotting the Oscars is because they were both upset that he was not nominated for his performance in "Concussion." In my opinion, they are throwing a temper tantrum in protest. It has very little to do with the issue of discrimination in Hollywood.

I did not see "Concussion," so I do not know whether he deserved to be nominated or not. Concussions in football are a very important health issue, and he very well may have given a great performance, but the one thing that I consistently notice in interviews with both of them is that they come across as very self-absorbed and narcissistic. It's always about what they are doing and how great they think they are. Will in particular comes across as extremely arrogant in interviews. I do think that Will Smith is a talented actor, but in my opinion, had he been nominated for an Oscar this year, he would not be boycotting the Oscars.
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KC
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« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2016, 09:28:59 PM »

Well, if he had been nominated, it wouldn't be "#OscarsSoWhite" ... would it?
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AKA23
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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2016, 08:33:04 AM »

Well, if he had been nominated, it wouldn't be "#OscarsSoWhite" ... would it?

That is of course true, but it already kind of isn't OscarsSoWhite. Spike Lee was awarded an honorary Oscar this year, and he's probably the most famous black director in Hollywood. Unlike Will Smith, he is actually making a sacrifice by not attending to accept his award. By not attending, Will Smith isn't making the same kind of sacrifice.
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KC
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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2016, 09:23:45 AM »

Lee isn't making a sacrifice ... he's already got his Oscar.


http://www.vulture.com/2015/11/spike-lee-finally-gets-his-oscar.html

His speech makes interesting reading, by the way.

He also had a movie out last year, Chi-Raq. Was it nominated for any Oscars? It was not.
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AKA23
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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2016, 10:14:57 AM »

Thanks for bringing this to my attention, KC. Lee's speech was an interesting read. I must confess that unless Clint is nominated, I rarely watch the Oscars. I have never watched it all the way through, since it's 3 hours, so I wasn't aware that the honorary Oscar is presented in a second ceremony. As a result, I was wrong about Spike Lee making a sacrifice, and when you're wrong, I think it's only the right thing to do to admit it, so I am. I think that I may be allowing my personal disdain for Will Smith as an individual to color my perception of his behavior here.

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Matt
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« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2016, 12:39:18 PM »

I like how in Spike Lee's speech he says now that he's in the Academy, he's going to bring as many *word edited*s with him as he can. This is the best way to get more diversity in the nominations and award recipients.  No quotas -- once the Academy is more diverse, the rest will take care of itself.

As for Will Smith, I've never seen one of his interviews. I don't know what he's like off camera either. But, he made The Pursuit of Happyness, one of the best films I've ever seen... and Seven Pounds, another great one. I forgot he wasn't Muhammad Ali in Ali he was so good. And his performances even in films that were less than great, were all still great... Men in Black, Independence Day, I am Legend, and more. He's one of the greatest actors of my generation. I hope he wins an Oscar soon, and doesn't wind up having to be given an Honorary Oscar. They always seem to be given out because "we kinda missed giving you one so many times, but you deserve one anyway, so here you go."
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KC
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« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2016, 12:44:51 PM »

... an Honorary Oscar. They always seem to be given out because "we kinda missed giving you one so many times, but you deserve one anyway, so here you go."

That's pretty much it, and I don't really understand why they now award them in a separate ceremony several months earlier. Recipients should at least get a chance to stand up and gloat a bit at the big ceremony that's seen all over the world.

Though in some cases they probably figure ... "We'd better get it to him now in case the old geezer kicks the bucket before February!" :o
« Last Edit: February 27, 2016, 07:09:23 PM by KC » Logged
Matt
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« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2016, 07:18:06 PM »

And that says a lot too, doesn't it? They can't fit it in due to length, is my guess... so they cut the "unimportant" stuff out and put it on a different night.  I honestly don't know how "honored" I'd feel with an honorary Oscar, but judging from the faces of all the recipients, they seem to like them.
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AKA23
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« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2016, 11:37:27 AM »

The other thing about this that makes no sense to me is that they give these honorary Oscars to people who have already won competitive Oscars. Why do they do that? In my opinion, these honorary Oscars should be reserved for people who haven't already won their own Oscar.
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KC
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« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2016, 06:03:54 PM »

The other thing about this that makes no sense to me is that they give these honorary Oscars to people who have already won competitive Oscars. Why do they do that? In my opinion, these honorary Oscars should be reserved for people who haven't already won their own Oscar.

Well, it depends on the honorary Oscar. The one Clint won, in 1995 (two years after his two Oscars for Unforgiven), was for his body of work as a producer. Though it's considered an honorary Oscar, the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award isn't like the others, which are really just consolation prizes. It is awarded periodically (not every year) to "creative producers whose bodies of work reflect a consistently high quality of motion picture production." I think the idea is that there really isn't an award for "best producer" ... the Best Film award is collected by the producer, but there are so many other factors that go into what film wins that it isn't really thought of as a producer's award. The last time the Thalberg Award was handed out was in 2010, to Francis Ford Coppola, a multiple Oscar winner. That same year, Eli Wallach got an honorary Oscar "for a lifetime's worth of indelible screen characters." It was the only Oscar he ever won.
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AKA23
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« Reply #17 on: February 29, 2016, 10:43:18 AM »

How many honorary Oscar categories are there? I've tried to research this but I find it to be confusing. I thought you might know, KC. There is the Thalberg award given occasionally to producers that you referenced, but what are the others, and are those given every year?
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