Open Letter to The Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts And Sciences
RE: Snub To Nelson Mandela Just Six Weeks After He Died
From Danny Schechter
New York, New York: It was ironic to read that the theme of this year's Oscar ceremony will be heroes---even as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences just snubbed the movie about Nelson Mandela that South Africa's first black President, and without question, a hero of the world, had given his rights to be turned into a major motion picture.
He wanted it made by South Africans, somehow not trusting foreign moviemakers.
I wonder why.
No one is questioning the Academy's right to nominate and honor any movie but, given the world we live in, and its need for inspiration, we can question the judgment involved in passing over a critically acclaimed story of a successful fight for freedom while lesser themes seem to be considered more compelling: crime dramas that spoof, but don't explain, the greed and criminality on Wall Street and government, a love affair between a man and his laptop, and a movie focusing on the ordeal of slave but not the system of slavery, among others.
For reasons that seem to reflect the commercial imperatives and callousness in American popular culture, we exploit the violence associated with victimization and subjugation but don't admire the sacrifice connected with liberation.
" Why does Hollywood prefer to milk guilt rather than promote solidarity? It is not "sour grapes" to ask questions like this.