‘Was It Good? I Don’t Know.’

Stephanie K. Baer, reporting for BuzzFeed News:

President Donald Trump criticized the Academy Awards during a rally Thursday for awarding this year’s top prize to Parasite, a South Korean movie. […]

“By the way, how bad were the Academy Awards this year — did you see? ‘And the winner is a movie from South Korea’ — what the hell was that all about?” Trump said to a crowd in Colorado Springs, Colorado. “We got enough problems with South Korea with trade. On top of it, they give them the best movie of the year? Was it good? I don’t know.”

“Let’s get Gone With the Wind — can we get, like, Gone With the Wind back, please?” Trump continued, referring to the 1940 Best Picture winner, which is set on a slave plantation during the Civil War.

Where to start with this? First, BuzzFeed’s headline is euphemistic: “Trump Criticized the Oscars For Awarding Best Picture To ‘Parasite’, a South Korean Movie”. That obfuscates the blatant truth: he criticized the Academy for awarding Best Picture to Parasite because it’s a South Korean film. His own remarks make that crystal clear — he expressly states that he doesn’t even know if it’s a good movie, but he knows it shouldn’t have been awarded Best Picture because it’s from South Korea.

That is outright bigotry. How can it even be denied?

And honestly, Gone With the Wind? That movie won best picture 80 years ago. The only relevance of Gone With the Wind is that it’s a movie about slave-owning plantation owners in the Civil War South. Out of all the Best Picture winners, Trump cited the one with a favorable perspective on slavery. Birth of a Nation would have been more subtle.

Thursday, 20 February 2020