This year’s Oscars certainly had its fair share of buzz worthy moments. From the inspiring and heartfelt acceptance speeches by Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto to John Travolta’s butchering Idina Menzel’s name onstage (“Adele Dazeem”; John, really?) The show definitely packed a few surprises no one expected. One surprise not generating quite as much buzz is how and why 12 Years a Slave landed the “Best Picture of the Year” award.
The movie portrays a free black man in 1853 who is kidnapped in Washington, D.C., sold into slavery, and works on a plantation in Louisiana for 12 years. While the movie was praised by critics and moviegoers alike, it has been recently revealed that the two unnamed members of the Academy didn’t even see the movie, stating that the movie would be “too upsetting”, according to the Los Angeles Times. The justification behind voting for a movie they did not actually see? “Social relevance” and feeling obligated to do so. Furthermore, members of the Academy felt that voting for the movie to take the top spot at the awards show would be “the right thing to do.”
Ellen DeGeneres, who hosted the show, even joked in her opening monologue about the outcome of the night, “Possibility number one: 12 Years a Slave wins Best Picture and possibility number two: You’re all racists.” She then proceeded to introduce the night’s first “white presenter” Anne Hathaway.
It is unsettling that the Academy is so careful so as to not be considered racist by voting for a film based on political agenda and correctness yet the host of the show is joking about racial superiority onstage. Voting for a film simply on the political undertones of the movie and political correctness of today undoubtedly removes all integrity from the nomination process. Just like it does in universities, workplaces, and the government realms of our society, affirmative action acts as reverse racism, giving preferential treatment to individuals simply based on their skin color. Bottom line, the vote for this movie was because Academy members didn’t want to look “racist”, not because it was actually the best movie of the nominations.
Since when does not voting for a film about slavery make a person racist? And by voting for a film simply because it’s about racism and slavery, what does that make a person? If the Academy members want to base results off of race, political correctness, and not on merit or content, they should consider changing their careers to poll workers in the next election. There were other great films in the running that could (and should) have received this award, but instead the Academy cheapened a film industry tradition with their liberal, feel good, politically correct agenda. Rather than vote for a film based on merit and quality, the Academy simply opted to cave to the left’s preference for race over qualification.
The truth is that no one alive today had anything to do with slavery in this country. Yes, it was a horrible and inhumane period in this country’s history. While we as a country do not deny slavery happened at our own hands, we do not condone it nor are we in any shape or form proud of it. We are not Germany after the Holocaust. Like any other atrocity we acknowledge, we mourn, we correct ourselves, and we move on. We move on to be better, freer, and more conscious of our future because of our past.
Ironically, it is Conservatives who wish to judge a person based on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin, while the left is hell-bent on advancing a person solely because of the color of their skin. When I hear stories like that of the 12 Years a Slave nomination, I only see another generation of hatred and an unwillingness to work to accomplish the very idea this country was founded on: A United States of America.