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Trump and the Academy Awards

Image courtesy of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The first Academy Awards under a Trump administration was expected to be a politically charged affair, however it turned out to be the night Hollywood royalty side-stepped the big issues, writes Tom Clark.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s radio anchor Mark Colvin once opened a news report on the Oscars ceremony with a prescient segue: “Meanwhile, over in La La Land, the annual integrity awards are underway.”

He could have had no inkling of the drama that would surround a film called La La Land this year.

Some rumblings in the days leading up to this year’s ceremony suggested the speeches would be more politically partisan than we have seen before. There was public speculation that several likely winners were ginned up to dump on US president Donald Trump. Some Trump supporters were organising to avoid the ceremony in a preemptive strike against the anticipated outrage. That anticipation was an exaggeration, as it transpired.

Time has published a list of the politically pointed moments at this year’s ceremony, which reveals they were not too many or too pointed by historical standards.

This year was tame compared to Marlon Brando’s 1973 acceptance (delivered by Sacheen Littlefeather), or to Vanessa Redgrave’s booed-and-applauded calumny against “Zionist hoodlums” in 1978, or to Dustin Hoffman’s tirade for Hollywood’s precariat workforce in 1980 (academics especially take note!), or to Michael Moore’s attack on the “fictitious president” George W Bush in 2003.

Read the full article at The Conversation.

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