Oscar Plays It Safe
February 26, 2007
So I watched the Academy Awards like everybody else, and I had only one big disappointment.
Not Ellen, I’ve always liked her light touch, and I thought she did a good job.
Not Helen Mirren, not Jennifer Hudson, not Scorcese, not the Departed.
And not Al Gore and Inconvenient Truth, which I liked more than I thought I would. And I admired it for highlighting a crucial issue facing the world today.
No, what disappointed me wasn’t any of the awards themselves but the absence of something else at the podium: and that is, any mention of the Iraq War or the assault on our liberties that Bush has waged.
Oh, two Iraq documentaries were in the running with Inconvenient Truth, and we saw an all-too-fleeting snippet of each.
But no one at the podium mentioned this war, which has taken more than 3,100 U.S. soldiers, wounded 23,000, and killed anywhere between 50,000 and more than ten times than number of Iraqi civilians. And no one mentioned the crisis of our constitutional liberties that Bush and Cheney have created.
It was too easy, too safe, just to deal with global warming, and to resuscitate the image of Al Gore rather than to address the man who took the Oval Office instead of Gore and who has now sent this country down a dreadful path.
To that extent, the Oscars felt like being in a time warp, as we were sent back seven years to the Stolen Election, which Ellen alluded to, but she did not, nor did anyone else, I’m sorry to say, had the guts to even allude to the Iraq War or to the issue of our liberties.
And so Hollywood went safe, at a time when we needed someone to say something daring about a couple of other inconvenient truths.