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The Oscars, Who makes up the academy and How they are bias

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Everyone knows the seemingly glamorous Academy Awards but is the win of the golden naked man an indicator of amazing work or is it nowadays just an old-fashioned and pretentious movie award?

Remember the time before Netflix and other streaming services when we simply went into a DVD shop to rent or buy a movie? I remember the “good old times” when I spent ages finding THE movie. Most of the time I ended up getting one only because it said “Oscar nominated” as it implied the movie would be brilliant and I would not regret watching it.

Remember those must-watches, like Titanic (nominated for 14 awards and won 11)? I remember being laughed at for not having watched it. Like who the f*ck cares about Titanic anymore if it’s not to make a meme out of the stupidity Rose showed?

Who makes up the Academy?

Every year the biggest Hollywood stars dress up in their best and most glamorous outfits to walk on the red carpet in hopes of receiving a price for their work. Everyone who wins this price counts as “the best of the best”. But who chooses that they are indeed the best actors, or if it is indeed the best movie of the year? Well, it’s certainly not us!

The people who decide who win are the around 8000 members from the academy of motion picture arts and science. You would think that those 8000 people are a group of mixed gender, ethnicity and age classes but the reality is that, according to the LA times, this group of people consists of 94%(!) white people, 76% are men and the majority are over 60 years old. Based on that statistics it’s pretty unimaginable for me that a white, old man would nominate a movie that not only other white, old men would find superb.

The very exclusive Oscar’s club

Let’s the genre “Animated Movies” as an example. Since the first Japanese Anime “Spirited Away” actually won an Oscar in 2003 there were only six that got nominated after. But what about the thousands of other awesome Anime’s like “A Silent Voice” that made it to the preselection but despite outstanding reviews they didn’t end up being nominated. Instead, the Academy decided that, American produced movie, “The Boss Baby” deserves to be nominated. Is it coincidence, a culture collusion or did perhaps the judges (grand-)kids just liked the annoying talking baby more? In the end it is up to you to judge, but I personally wouldn’t trust my grandpas opinion on every movie. But hey, at least Walt Disney won 26 Oscars, right?!

The Academy Awards show since 92 years that only, well… Hollywood belongs to Hollywood with few exceptions. Over the years they got criticized not only for their seemingly biased choice about foreign movies but also non-Americans and people of color. How is it possible that in almost 100 years the first Muslim actor, Mahershala Ali, was first nominated in 2017 for his role in “Moonlight”? The first black women to receive an Oscar was Halle Berry in 2002.

What should change?

There are many movies and actors that do deserve this award, but sadly there are many that don’t even get the opportunity no matter how hard they try and how much they would deserve an Oscar. I really hope that the Academy Awards will have a deep look into their system in the future to guarantee that any cinematographer, director, movie and any actor gets the same chance of winning one of the holy golden boys. Perhaps a good start would be to not let the old white man sit for an entire lifetime.

All I’m asking for is to have that glam you see from the outside also be reflected on the inside. I want a  jury comprising ALL genders, ALL ages, ALL nationalities and ethnicities. Because movies should bring all of those people together and not divide them. So the next time you choose to watch a movie based on how many Oscars it has won or been nominated for, keep in mind that there are many other masterpieces out there that were never even considered for the “big golden stamp”.

cinesister
Written By

cinesister

I've always had a deep love and fascination for movies, being an especially strong advocate for the weird, foreign, underrated, under-budgeted and unfairly NC17 rated films of our world. Cinesister is the embodiment of this passion (which some might call an obsession).

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