So where's Sean Penn's bonfire?

So where's Sean Penn's promised Oscar melt?

The two-time Academy Award–winner had made big demands of the 94th annual Academy Awards ceremony and vowed big consequences if they didn't deliver.  They ignored him, so now it's time to get out the smelter.

According to the New York Post, Penn laid down his red line this way:

"I would encourage everyone involved to know, though it may be their moment, and I understand that, to celebrate their films, it is so much more their moment to shine and to protest and to boycott that Academy Awards," the controversial actor said in an appearance on CNN Saturday afternoon.

The Washington Post added:

Penn, who took home best actor awards for the films "Mystic River" (2003) and "Milk" (2008), called on people to boycott the ceremony in protest if Zelensky is not on the program, saying: "I will smelt [my awards] in public."

The New York Post continued:

"It is my understanding that a decision has been made not to do it" Penn said of having Zelensky speak.

"If the Academy has elected not to do it, if presenters have elected not to pursue the leadership in Ukraine, who are taking bullets and bombs for us, along with the Ukrainian children they are trying to protect, then I think every single one of those people and every bit of that decision will have been the most obscene moment in all of Hollywood history."


No Zelensky.  Get that bonfire going, Sean.

Now, Hollywood observers said the Academy had its reasons for not inviting the embattled Ukrainian president to address its annual red-carpet extravaganza.

According to Deadline Hollywood:

[W]hile producers and the Academy recognized the importance of the moment in contemporary history, they had reservations about the ceremony shifting too far from the cinematic to the geopolitical in a year when the movies and the Oscars are trying to get back on track after two years of pandemic.

In the end, the decision was made by Will Packer's team to keep the focus on Hollywood.

A Zelensky address would have been a moment unique in the ceremony's history. Co-host Amy Schumer championed the idea. Sean Penn even warned that he would smelt his two Oscars if Zelensky was not invited. In a press conference last week, Oscars producer Will Packer didn't rule it out.

But there also was a counter argument that a Zelensky appearance would be a bit awkward and incongruous, even for a telecast that routinely addresses causes. Wanda Sykes told Variety on the red carpet that, in weighing what was right for the Oscars, it was important to "know your lane."

But that wasn't quite about keeping the awards apolitical.

Hollywood focus, sure, but that didn't mean zero politics.  It just meant Hollywood politics, not Ukraine politics.

The awards in fact were as wokester as ever in the speechifying, but the priority was to attack Florida rather than Vladimir Putin.

The three female hosts used their airtime to explicitly insult the state of Florida, which recently passed the Parental Rights in Education bill, prohibiting public school teachers from graphic sex talk to five-year-olds.

According to the Daily Wire:

Co-host Wanda Sykes decided she would alienate plenty of people in Florida by attacking them over the state's Parental Rights in Education legislation, sniping, "Well, we're going to have a great night tonight. And for you people in Florida, we're going to have a gay night."

She then joined co-hosts Regina Hall and Amy Schumer to chant like defiant four-year-olds, "Gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay."

Wokesterism is alive and well in Hollywood, but Ukraine didn't measure up.  Nope, it was the minor Florida law that was more important, and, coming from the Hollywood chi-chi crowd, a little unsettling, given that the industry of Harvey Weinstein has also seen widespread child-grooming and molestation scandals.

Sit this one out, ladies.

But they didn't. After their catcalls directed at Florida (which were appropriately were mocked back by a Florida official, given that Florida's law had nothing to do with banning gay people or banning the word "gay"):

...the next incident came with the long, long, get-the-hook long speech made by actress Jessica Chastain, who won in the Best Actress category in a film portraying Christians as intolerant of gays in The Eyes of Tammy Faye.  Before she came up to claim her statuette, the Academy ran a clip of the film showing just that supposed Christian intolerance, which corresponds little to THE reality most Christians know and is therefore all a lot of us plan to see of that film.

According to Pink News:

Chastain called out the "discriminatory and bigoted legislation" while accepting the Oscar for Best Actress, for her performance as televangelist and queer icon Tammy Faye Bakker in the biopic The Eyes of Tammy Faye.

"We're faced with discriminatory and bigoted legislation that is sweeping our country with the only goal of further dividing us," said Jessica Chastain, who was nominated for the award along with Olivia Colman, Penélope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, and Kristen Stewart.

"There's violence and hate crimes being perpetuated on innocent civilians all over the world. And in times like this, I think of Tammy and I'm inspired by her radical acts of love…

"It connects us all in the desire that we want to be accepted for who we are, accepted for who we love, and to live a life without the fear of violence or terror.

Which kind of...clanks.

Tammy Faye is now "a guiding principle for us all," as Chastain claimed in her acceptance speech?

That's not actually what's driving the mood of the country right now.  Who the heck is persecuting gay people? 

According to this bunch, gays are under all kinds of persecutory attack, hate crimes against them are rampant (right, Jussie?), gays are marginalized through society, including presumably Hollywood, gays are victims, gays are powerless with no pull inside big Hollywood outfits or other institutions, it's still 1950, and now it's time to virtue-signal.

"Save the gays."

Under this overwrought "narrative," poor old Zelensky, with actual bombs coming down on him, didn't stand a chance.

The Nielsen ratings aren't expected to come out until tomorrow, but that doesn't sound like a formula for retaining or regaining audience viewership which was the supposed aim of the ceremony this year.  The Awards viewership was reportedly down to 9.85 million or 10.4 million viewers as of 2021, which represented a 50% drop from the year earlier, and severely lower than the 55.2 million viewership of 1998, when Titanic was winning Best Picture.  By keeping the wokesterism alive, they're going the way of beauty contests, as a media consultant quoted by the Epoch Times observed.  But no matter.  They're going to keep doing it over and over.

Penn had a film to sell when he made his call for a boycott of the Oscars if Zelensky were not invited to address the shindig.  His gambit was tamped down as too political.  Hollywood, though, has its own priorities, and naturally, its denizens think of themselves first, although there was a "moment of silence" for appearance's sake for Ukraine, and a few of the actors wore blue ribbons.

Claiming that gay people are persecuted by conservatives for them was far more important.  It sounded like actors singing for their supper, hoping to get the roles they want from the Hollywood barons who make those decisions.  Sean had his movie to sell, but the characters back home had their own economics to consider, which was why the ceremony went so same-old, same-old wokesterly.

Amazingly, there was no recognition from this bunch that this kind of wokesterism is precisely what drives audiences away.  Let's see how those Nielsen figures go come tomorrow.  Meanwhile, ol' Sean had better get out that smelter.

Image: Screen shot from ABC News via YouTube.

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