Outrage! No black actors nominated for Academy Award

By the tone and tenor of the reaction to the recently announced Academy Award nominations, you would think that old Jim Crow himself had been resurrected and is stalking the land.

No black actors are up for best actor or supporting actor.  The film Selma – which some historians claim is horribly inaccurate – was "snubbed" (although nominated as Best Picture), as was the film's female director.

The reason?  Ninety-seven percent of Academy voters are white, and 75% are men.

Case closed, right?

It is – if you live your life looking at reality through a prism of race and gender.  If so, you can probably find racism under your bed and gender bias lurking in the closet.

The idea is that white people are incapable of jettisoning bias and make their choices based solely and exclusively on their privileged worldview.  PJ Media's Roger Simon sort of resents that, as well as resenting Al Sharpton making the "lack of diversity" in nominations his cause célèbre.

Al didn’t come to my house or anything, not that I would have let him in.  But I do acknowledge my vote publicly, although it’s a secret ballot taken online, known only to the Academy and fifty thousand North Korean hackers.  On my behalf,  I will say I only nominated three films (Birdman, Boyhood and The Imitation Game) instead of the permissible ten.  I’m one of those elite snobs who thinks nominating ten films for best picture is the cinematic equivalent of grade inflation. (Also, I’m easily bored.)

Nevertheless, it was a bit depressing to wake up this morning to find myself accused of racism on the top of Drudge.  I tried to tweet Matt the truth that I voted for Twelve Years a Slave last year — I thought maybe he’d put something up — but didn’t get an answer. So I’m stuck.

But I have bad news for Al.  I’m not going to pay him one penny to get one of his pseudo-papal absolutions saying I’m not really a racist (even though I was in the civil rights movement and a financial backer of the Black Panthers, to my ever-lasting shame).  He’s going to have pay his millions of back taxes by himself when the Republicans take the presidency, as people like him and the jihadists are making it likely they will.

And as for Chris Rock, who is also complaining about the white skin privilege or whatever of the Oscar voting and general Hollywood behavior (mostly in excluding Chris Rock),  I have news for him.  Some years ago I wrote for and worked with his most famous  predecessor in African-American comedy, a certain Richard Pryor. And Richard was wildly more talented than you, Chris.  You see, some of us old white guys vote for talent and accomplishment, not skin color.  I know that doesn’t fit in with your narrative or whatever you want to call it, but as anyone who has worked in Hollywood knows, it all comes down to the ol’ box office-arooney.  Blame whoever you want, but Pryor got them into the theater in his time like nobody else around.  Chris Rock doesn’t.  End of story, whether you’re black, white or heliotrope.

Hollywood's dirty little secret for years is that black and white don't matter; green is the only color that people pay attention to.  Rock, and others like him, know full well the truth of the matter.  If you can make someone else a ton of money, no one will care if you're a raving jihadist, a black power nutcase, or a button-down white guy from Westchester.  You're in.

The obvious solution to this is a quota system.  Just as 10% of federal contracts are "set aside" for minorities, 10% of Academy Awards should be set aside for blacks, women, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, Muslims, Hindus...well, you get the picture.

Or, how about the Academy enacting a "privilege quotient" of 1,000 votes for every minority, thus giving them a head start in the voting?  Anything is better than the current system that, as Simon points out, relies on judges voting for "talent and accomplishment, not skin color."

Whoever heard of such a crazy notion?

By the tone and tenor of the reaction to the recently announced Academy Award nominations, you would think that old Jim Crow himself had been resurrected and is stalking the land.

No black actors are up for best actor or supporting actor.  The film Selma – which some historians claim is horribly inaccurate – was "snubbed" (although nominated as Best Picture), as was the film's female director.

The reason?  Ninety-seven percent of Academy voters are white, and 75% are men.

Case closed, right?

It is – if you live your life looking at reality through a prism of race and gender.  If so, you can probably find racism under your bed and gender bias lurking in the closet.

The idea is that white people are incapable of jettisoning bias and make their choices based solely and exclusively on their privileged worldview.  PJ Media's Roger Simon sort of resents that, as well as resenting Al Sharpton making the "lack of diversity" in nominations his cause célèbre.

Al didn’t come to my house or anything, not that I would have let him in.  But I do acknowledge my vote publicly, although it’s a secret ballot taken online, known only to the Academy and fifty thousand North Korean hackers.  On my behalf,  I will say I only nominated three films (Birdman, Boyhood and The Imitation Game) instead of the permissible ten.  I’m one of those elite snobs who thinks nominating ten films for best picture is the cinematic equivalent of grade inflation. (Also, I’m easily bored.)

Nevertheless, it was a bit depressing to wake up this morning to find myself accused of racism on the top of Drudge.  I tried to tweet Matt the truth that I voted for Twelve Years a Slave last year — I thought maybe he’d put something up — but didn’t get an answer. So I’m stuck.

But I have bad news for Al.  I’m not going to pay him one penny to get one of his pseudo-papal absolutions saying I’m not really a racist (even though I was in the civil rights movement and a financial backer of the Black Panthers, to my ever-lasting shame).  He’s going to have pay his millions of back taxes by himself when the Republicans take the presidency, as people like him and the jihadists are making it likely they will.

And as for Chris Rock, who is also complaining about the white skin privilege or whatever of the Oscar voting and general Hollywood behavior (mostly in excluding Chris Rock),  I have news for him.  Some years ago I wrote for and worked with his most famous  predecessor in African-American comedy, a certain Richard Pryor. And Richard was wildly more talented than you, Chris.  You see, some of us old white guys vote for talent and accomplishment, not skin color.  I know that doesn’t fit in with your narrative or whatever you want to call it, but as anyone who has worked in Hollywood knows, it all comes down to the ol’ box office-arooney.  Blame whoever you want, but Pryor got them into the theater in his time like nobody else around.  Chris Rock doesn’t.  End of story, whether you’re black, white or heliotrope.

Hollywood's dirty little secret for years is that black and white don't matter; green is the only color that people pay attention to.  Rock, and others like him, know full well the truth of the matter.  If you can make someone else a ton of money, no one will care if you're a raving jihadist, a black power nutcase, or a button-down white guy from Westchester.  You're in.

The obvious solution to this is a quota system.  Just as 10% of federal contracts are "set aside" for minorities, 10% of Academy Awards should be set aside for blacks, women, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, Muslims, Hindus...well, you get the picture.

Or, how about the Academy enacting a "privilege quotient" of 1,000 votes for every minority, thus giving them a head start in the voting?  Anything is better than the current system that, as Simon points out, relies on judges voting for "talent and accomplishment, not skin color."

Whoever heard of such a crazy notion?