On Skipping the Academy Awards this Year

88thoscarshomepageFebruary 3, 2017 – A few weeks ago, I wrote a post focusing on the Golden Globe Awards and how I looked forward to them, even though I had not seen any of the nominated films. With the Globes covering television, many nominations included shows I watched so I wouldn’t be completely lost. I also promised to see as many nominated films as I could to prepare for the Oscars.

Now, I’ve changed my mind.

I am a movie fan and always watch the Oscars. Even though they drag on in the middle during the technical awards, I’ve enjoyed them since early childhood. This year, it will be the first time in 45 years that I won’t be in front of the television on Oscar night. Weird thing is, I’m OK with it.

So, why did this decision come so easy?

On Monday morning, I saw news clips of the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the second of the big three of award season. I didn’t realize they’d been on Sunday night, and instead of feeling devastated I missed them, I was relieved since the clips showed focused on politics. I made up my mind right then that I would skip the Oscars on purpose to avoid the political madness.

There is a time and place for everything, for political protests and speeches and sharing opinions. I applaud people who march for a cause, and who discuss politics around the dinner table (to a degree). However, it saddens me that it’s taken over entertainment venues like award shows and Facebook. If I want to hear news about politics. I can turn on one of the cable news channels. Take note celebrities and my list of Facebook friends who are split evenly into both sides of the political aisle: I already know how you feel. I turn to you for entertainment, fun and friendship—not your political agenda.

Rarely do I offer others with my political opinions unless they ask for it, and I wish our celebrities and my Facebook friends would do the same. I’ll go out on a limb here and say that I’ll bet the majority of the public feel the same.

That’s why, my friends, I am skipping the Oscars this year.

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5 thoughts on “On Skipping the Academy Awards this Year

  1. I think the arts have always, and will always, be connected to politics. The arts, both performing and visual, always have been used as a platform for political statements. The people involved in entertainment, like your friends on Facebook, aren’t single faceted beings, and they do not choose how to live their lives solely for you. They are not just actors, writers, and producers; their political beliefs are instrinsically linked to their personal beliefs. For this reason, they use their platform to protect their beliefs.

    It would be so nice to limit politics to a small, unobstrusive corner of daily life, but keep in mind that many do not have this option. Many people, because of the policies being proposed, have to think about politics at every moment. So, I encourage you to live your life to the fullest (and I understand if you need a break from it all; trust me, I do), whether it involves skipping the Oscars or not, but I also urge you to be empathetic to what the politics of this administration mean to many people. For LGBTQ individuals (who are under a vice president that once supported conversion therapy ), for certain Muslim immigrants (who face deportation), for lovers of the arts (whose major programs face defunding under budget cuts), these are not simple political issues that can be quietly tucked away. Hollywood has always been an eclectic blend of cultures- many times a home for such marginalized groups. So, while you choose to turn off the TV for the Oscars and keep politics to yourself, I hope you can see why it is a luxury that many do not, and choose not to, have.

    • While I respect your opinion, Beth, I disagree. Celebrities should make it a point to appear on CNN or MSNBC if they want to discuss politics. I sort of agree with you about politics on Facebook. I may not like it, but I don’t control it.

      • It would be nice if life was neatly compartmentalized like that.

        I’d like your opinion on this: don’t you feel that if celebrities attempted to have political influence outside of their respective platforms that they would not only be rejected, but held in contempt? They already receive the disdain of many simply by sharing their political opinions. I feel if they were to go onto a legitimate news source and give their perspectives on various policies, that many people would see it as them saying, “I have political authority.” But when they speak about issues that are important to them at award shows, social media, etc. many people are able to accept that this is their sphere of influence; I feel people would reject them further if they appeared on the news.

        What do you think?

      • I guess I am trying to make life neatly compartmentalized, aren’t I?

        However, celebrities are often a part of political shows, where their opinion is welcome. Take Bill Mahr’s show, for example. It may also be considered entertainment, but the focus is news and politics and I tune in to hear what they have to say. Even if I may not agree with them, it’s interesting because I enjoy a good debate. I’ve also seen them featured on CNN, MSNBC and Fox. In the case of political speeches at an award show, people tune in to see how celebrities are dressed and who will win. Political speeches across as preaching here, giving them “political authority”. I don’t know too many people enjoy being told what to think, especially if there is no room for debate.

        If you have Facebook, you might enjoy reading this string: https://www.facebook.com/patti.ahlstrom/posts/1806471312948371?comment_id=1807548036174032&notif_t=mentions_comment&notif_id=1486352360565192

  2. Pingback: Jane’s World: The 10 Best Movies of All Time | janeMcMaster

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