The Oscars have been political for years

To hear some commentators talk, you would think that politics was new to the Oscars. That may have more to do with their shortcomings and inability to take #MeToo seriously though as the Oscars have been political for decades.

 

Whether it's decisions to give awards to prominent, outspoken Hollywood figures such as Jane Fonda or Michael Moore, asides from presenters or the power of simply not showing up - as Brando did in the clip above, actors and producers have used the platform they have at high profile awards shows like the Oscars to make statements either on the politics of the moment or a cause close to their heart. 

Sometimes, Like when Halle Berry was the first woman of colour to win the best actress Oscar, their personal, professional and political passions combine. 

The Oscars, in their opulence, glitter and glamour could well be considered a political statement of their own. One largely in favour of the Capitalist system that Hollywood liberals have a double-edged relationship with. 

Certainly, we should and could ask questions about why we judge the acting ability of men and women separately? It's not like in sport where their physical differences make sense of judging them in different categories. Could it be that we expect them to fulfil different expectations in terms of their gendered work? Men being praised for being able to show emotion, women strength.

Questions are also asked about the industry that the Oscars celebrates. Which is why #TimesUp and #MeToo will be pertinent at tonight's ceremony. This is a trade coming together, it's reasonable that this is also an occasion where tough questions are asked about that trade. 

 

It may well be that we don't always agree with the cause Hollywood chooses to champion at any given time. It may well be that there are questions to be asked about the hypocrisy of rich, mostly white liberals preaching from comfortable perches. But to argue that the Oscars has never been political is simply to betray your ignorance of what the Oscars is and has always been: a platform.