The Oscars have been announced and people are going wild. There are 2 films in particular getting a lot of buzz: Get Out – a film by Black director/writer Jordan Peele, starring a Black actor – Daniel Kaluuya. The other is The Shape of Water by Hispanic director Guillermo Del Toro, about a mute woman (Sally Hawkins) in love with a fishman. Both are up for Best Picture and there is a lot of support for either to win. America has a future still.
The above is a paraphrasing of several comments from Facebook and Twitter. It’s NOT meant to single out any one person or critic. But it is a very common discussion point on these 2 films. The problem is that those reasons are useless and superficial descriptions of physicality. If these are the only merits of ANY film, it is unworthy of praise let alone any form of reward.
Now before fans of the films lose their minds, re-read the description in the first paragraph. Sounds great? Ok, what does it say about those films or cinematography? What does it say about the acting? The writing or story?
If The Shape of Water was done by Steven Spielberg instead of Guillermo Del Toro, and was the same exact film that was nominated, would anyone say one of the benefits is that it was done by a White director? What if a Hindu wrote Get Out? How about an non-Oscar film that drew lots of controversy – what if Admiral Holdo was a man, would he still be an inspired character with strong authority and leadership? If Rose was Spanish, or German, would it make any difference at all?
Slightly off topic but directly related, Oprah Winfrey is a rich Black woman, who runs her own business and many think she should run for president – even though nothing is know about her preferred direction on political policy. The main talking point often quoted are that she is Black, a woman, and successful. Oh, and a Democrat. Obviously the politically correct convergence of factors in politics, and art it seems.
Whether its politics leading entertainment or vice versa, the end result is the same. A focus on superfluous, predominantly physicality based attributes that confer no meaning beyond hitting a social justice PC checkbox.
Whether its Oprah or Jordan Peele or any person or character the color of skin is meaningless to the value of what they do and who they are. Depending on the film, but especially in politics, gender should be equally transparent. If Sen. Schumer suggests a tax hike, and Sen. Gillibrand does the same – does the difference in gender make the tax hike less expensive?
The separation of politics from virtually every other aspect of life has truly disappeared. Athletes kneeling as the national anthem is played. Singers attacking the President – before the inauguration even takes place. But most of all a superficial layer of political correctness demanding that gender, skin, and ethnic origin justify deeper insight and greater truth in all things to all people, at all times. It’s insane.
This feels like a vortex. A swirling plunge into the bowels of the very worst about politics and stripping away the heart of entertainment. But advertised and promoted with the very best money and entertainers that money can buy. Ultimately, this will end poorly – for everyone.
Entertainment should comment on politics – not substitute for it. The public should call out the subtle but pervasive PC social justice checkbox as justification in all media and politics. The fact that this will not only continue, but gather steam, should sadden everyone.