At the 2020 Oscar Ceremony, it seemed like liberal ‘wokeness’ dominated the night. From Joaquin Phoenix’s rambling acceptance speech on inequality of humans and animals to a documentarian giving an endorsement for communism, the Hollywood elite enjoyed having the stage to advocate about their pet causes while alienating large swaths of the audience.
The Oscars is an event that celebrates achievements in film, although there’s not much to celebrate these days. Hollywood is almost completely out of ideas, rehashing every film and franchise imaginable in order to turn a buck. This was exemplified by the South Korean film Parasite winning the best film category. Apparently, Tinseltown’s nonfranchise-related showings are so weak that foreign films are now winning top honors. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as there are many exceptional international film makers, but it goes to show the absence of compelling American cinema.
But ‘wokeness’ is perhaps Hollywood’s biggest problem. Americans are fed up with this elitist, Leftist liberalism that seems to take great pleasure in lecturing the public about everything from the environment, animal rights, indigenous rights and the results of the impeachment.
It started at the beginning of the night with Brad Pitt, who won best supporting actor for his role in Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood. In his speech, he said, “They told me I only had 45 seconds up here, which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week.” He went on to call out Quentin Tarantino, the director of Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, “I’m thinking maybe Quentin does a movie about it and in the end the adults do the right thing.
Then there were the winners for best documentary film, American Factory, which was produced by Barack and Michelle Obama. Julia Reichert, the documentarian, made an overt reference to her socialist and communist views when she said, “Working people have it harder and harder these days—and we believe that things will get better when workers of the world unite.”
Clearly this supporter of Karl Marx and the Communist Manifesto never has actually experienced working in an actual communist run country or factory. A communist system is never about the “workers” but about enriching the elite few who toe the party line while brutally repressing everyone else.
There was also Taika Waititi who was given a moment to acknowledge that Hollywood sits on stolen land, “The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would like to acknowledge that tonight we have gathered on the ancestral lands of the Tongva, Tataviam and the Chumash.”
Finally, there was Joaquin Phoenix, the winner of the best actor Oscar for Joker. In his rather long, and sometimes incoherent speech, the actor talked about inseminating cows and queer rights.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about some of the distressing issues that we are facing collectively, and I think at times we feel or are made to feel that we champion different causes,” Phoenix said. “But for me, I see commonality. I think whether we’re talking about gender inequality or racism or queer rights or indigenous rights or animal rights, we’re talking about the fight against injustice. … I think that we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world and many of us, what we’re guilty of, is an egocentric world view, the belief that we’re the center of the universe.”
While there’s some wisdom in the idea that all humans struggle with the sin of pride, I don’t think the rights of animals should supersede or be equal to a human. God gave humans domain over the animal kingdom. No speech from a Hollywood elite will change that reality.
Perhaps it’s just me, but I think most Americans are sick of the sanctimonious and Leftist speeches coming out of Hollywood. The audience turnout reflected this reality with the ceremony attracting only a paltry 26.54 million viewers, down from a high of 43.5 million in 2004 when The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won best picture.
Instead of trying to push a political or an ideological agenda, the winners should do like Ricky Gervais said at the Golden Globes, “So, if you do win an award to night, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech. You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world.” So true, and more of the awardees should’ve taken it to heart.
Photo from Walt Disney Television