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The Sanitized Oscars

One of the things I like about the Academy Awards is that it is live and watched by millions. Hollywood is very liberal and so it is not unusual for a big celerity to take a moment out of his or her acceptance speech to discuss a politic or social issue. The host is usually an edgy comedian who makes an off color jokes or two and someone gets offended. This didn’t happen this year. This year the Academy Awards were boring.

For starters, Steve Martin has never been a “wild and crazy guy.” He has never been edgy and he had nothing edgy to say last night. Alec Baldwin on the other hand isn’t even a comedian but when he did guest appear on Saturday Night Live, he was at least edgy with his “Schweddy Balls” and jokes at his overly religious brother’s expense. Of course we had none of that at the Academy Awards either.

The rumor was that Sasha Baron Cohen was going to dress up as a Na’vi from Avatar, but of course he is too unpredictable. You never know what or who he would try to plug his tail into. So instead they had Ben Stiller do it. Stiller is the safe bet because he will joke about plugging his tail into James Cameron but won’t actually try to do it. Don’t get me wrong, Ben Stiller was funny, but safe funny.

Another missed opportunity for some politically relevant fun was when Tina Fey came out on stage as… herself. Seriously? No Sarah Palin? She didn’t even read off her hand. Tina Fey should be in her Sarah Palin character 24/7 until Palin is no longer news relevant.

This year, no one gave any politically or socially relevant speeches at all. The most controversial part of this year’s Oscars was a very cryptic acceptance speech by Best Supporting Actress Mo’nique who thanked her lawyer and implied that there was some behind the scenes controversy related to her win. I wish I knew what that was about because it seemed like the most interested part of the evening.

My issue with the Academy Awards this year isn’t about films. It is indirectly about censorship. It is more directly about how the Academy has become afraid to take risks and afraid to offend. They have created a sanitized environment full of jokes that aren’t funny and comedians who aren’t allowed to be funny. Actors have been discouraged from using their fame and platform for the good of others and outspoken filmmakers like Michael Moore won’t be nominated out of fear they may win and say something interesting. Save the dolphins!

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  • existential blues

    There is one word to describe the show: boring. I’m not sure why I should care about the academy’s opinion on movies; if they can’t put on an interesting show, then what’s the point? I’d rather watch college hoops.

  • Lexie Little

    Did you happen to catch The Spirit Awards the night before? Eddie Izzard hosted it, and at the very beginning, made a joke about God not being real, I suppose in reference to people always thanking God for an award. Here’s a link.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mM85xX7ZqXw

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