March 12, 08:15 EST
Memories of the epic Oscars mishap might be receding but a different sense of injustice to La La Land, completely unrelated to Warren Beatty getting the wrong envelope, still lingers.
On the surface, it might be difficult to argue that a movie that just won six Academy Awards is a victim of anything. But it’s time to ask: is La La Land a victim of sex, gender and racial politics?
The movie has committed several sins against politically correct Hollywood. To begin with, it had the audacity to be commercially successful, making over $371 million worldwide.
More importantly, La La Land has been accused of political incorrectness by various groups including women, blacks and jazz lovers. Critics have complained about the movie’s gender politics.
Worse yet, the movie has been hammered for racial politics. Critics who are perhaps still getting over Trump’s election accuse Chazelle of agreeing that life was better in the 1950s because America was segregated, since the movie is a throw back to the musicals of the 1950’s.
This is absurd. George Michael, Toyota Prius, Soft Cell, cell phones and other elements featured in the film didn’t exist in the 1950s. This is not a political movie by any stretch of imagination.
Over at MTV News, Ira Madison III claims: “If you’re gonna make a film about an artist staying true to the roots of jazz against the odds, you’d think that artist would be black.”
So the claim goes, Sebastian wants to save jazz, but that is not acceptable because he is white. According to this line of reasoning, Chet Baker, Buddy Rich and countless other white jazz musicians should be wiped from the history of jazz merely because as they happen to be caucasian.
There have been numerous other criticisms about the paucity of black leads (er, John Legend?), homosexual leads, and misguided accusations of intellectual snobbery. But once again, this is not a movie that explores the themes being questioned.
The backlash against La La Land exactly accounts for why so much of mainstream America hates the two Coasts. Why does every show, every movie, every cartoon have to have a homosexual, a minority, or a disenfranchised character?
Isn’t that reverse discrimination? Isn’t it precisely the kind of thinking that is dividing us further into two people who don’t understand each other?
Is he supposed to apologize because he happens to be white, straight, and a man? His protagonist is his alter ego. Wouldn’t it be hypocritical if Sebastian was black? (And while we’re on the subject, didn’t we just have a President who is black but went out of his way to help white rich Americans more than any other group?)
The perceived cultural shortcomings stacked against the political correctness represented by Moonlight robbed La La Land of its rightful Best Movie Oscar. It was the same with this year’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.
The Salesman, an interesting yet disappointing Iranian film directed by Asghar Farhadi, won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film even though French movie Elle won the equivalent Golden Globe award.
I’ll bet that Oscar voters felt a huge rush of relief when they noticed that an Iranian movie was nominated so they could send another important message.
A statement was even read by a semi- traditionally garbed Iranian woman on behalf of the director at the Oscar ceremony condemning Trump’s “inhumane” Muslim Law. Mission accomplished!
Hollywood prides itself on being politically correct and gender, sex, race and socioeconomic-class inclusive.
Moonlight, a far inferior movie to La La Land, won because it is about being poor, gay, and, I’m sorry to say, black. The Salesman got lucky because Iran is one of the countries we don’t particularly like right now.
In the current political atmosphere, what could be better than sending strong messages while 100 billion viewers are watching, as so powerfully demonstrated by Meryl Streep?
The overriding message seems to be:”Take that Mr. Trump, we told you all right!” Talk about a Hollywood ending.
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