Sunday, January 6, 2019

The 2019 Oscars Has Turned Into a Mess Now, Hasn't it?

Normally the thing people care the least about in regards to Academy Awards/Oscars is the host. It is a mostly thankless job where a man or woman delivers an opening monologue full of softball jokes (occasional glorious exception aside) about Hollywood, then disappears for most of the show except to pop-up occasionally and segue us into the next segment. Basically nobody wants the gig, except Kevin Hart, who really wanted it, then didn't, was maybe coming back, but wait, nah. Now, the dullest aspect has become the main story--something I doubt the Oscars wanted.

The whole point of the Academy Awards (and most award shows, honestly) is for people in the industry to pat themselves on the back and vote for what was not necessarily the best movie of the year, but the one that had the most impact/makes a statement being chosen, etc. Less and less people tune in because the Academy seems to often purposely snub stuff considered too, "Mainstream," such as super-hero flicks (again, occasional glorious exception aside) relegating them to technical awards while lavishing praise on films almost nobody saw--some of which are often quite good, but yeah. The Oscars is a way for Hollywood to celebrate its own industry for how special, important, and magnificent it is (in its mind); the host of the show just helps move stuff along and mostly ends up forgotten--except now, because this has turned into a big mess.

Kevin Hart was announced as the host of the Oscars early in December. Very shortly after that people dug-up old Tweets, located past stand-up routines, and found that Hart had said some really homophobic stuff, somewhat as a joke, somewhat uncomfortably seriously. He was asked to apologize, say how he has grown as a person, and all that. He refused, then later kind of said sorry, but due to his earlier refusal quit (or was fired) from hosting, then was wanted back, but the whole thing has fallen apart now. I'm one of the first people to get annoyed when old comments come back to haunt someone--just look at what happened with James Gunn and what I said about it--but the difference between Gunn and Hart was that Gunn said he realized now his comments from a decade ago were stupid, childish, and he was very sorry (Disney still fired him though). Hart meanwhile, just basically shrugged and said he didn't do those jokes anymore, refused to apologize, then with enough outcry at least kind of did. 

I am irritated that Hart wasn't especially apologetic, but also annoyed at how many other comedians (who happen to be white) has said some viciously homophobic shit in the past and nobody seems to care now--with many even called allies to the LGBTQ community--yet everyone is all pissed at Hart. It doesn't excuse what he said, and I'm not saying this all purely racial motivated, but that arguably plays a part. Meanwhile, all this is happening and the main reason for the show has been mostly forgotten and ignored--you know, the part about how there is supposedly buzz with who is going to be nominated and win--much to the Oscars' chagrin as that is supposed to be the focal point. 

I guess there won't be a host now, and perhaps that will even help move the show along with the disembodied announcer voice just introducing whatever random celebrities pop-up on stage to read the nominees, give them an award, have a speech occur, and rinse and repeat through the night. Hell, maybe the show won't run two hours over its time-slot this year (I doubt it, but one can dream, right)? Whatever the case, this is a mess, but in the ultimate paradox it might very well boost the flagging viewership numbers for the Oscars, giving it the best ratings in some time due to folk tuning in because of all the controversy. Wouldn't that just be a movie-worthy twist in and of itself?

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