We are not the Establishment.
That should sound pretty normal. The very nature of us is that we are not the popular kids, we’re quirky, we’re different, we’re awesome, and unique.
We do not define our successes by the same metric of the popular people. We do not need the validation of a rich, entitled class of ‘professionals’ seeking to stroke egos and push box-office/DVD numbers.
I’m talking about the Oscars. This morning, the Academy read the list of nominations for the 2018 Academy Awards which contained no awards for Patty Jenkin’s Wonder Woman. Now, many people are calling this a snub (snub, snub, snub, snub) but it’s really not surprising. It’s all about understanding your audience and with the amount of money that Wonder Woman made, I think it’s clear to say that Gal Gadot resonated with viewers. The thing about the academy is that with few exceptions, they don’t care about pop-culture movies. That includes comic book movies, action movies, comedies, rom-coms, and really anything else that someone perusing a AARP membership magazine while waiting on their colonoscopy appointment doesn’t find interesting.
The Academy is secretive about who their members are, but according to reporting from the LA Times, the membership skews overwhelmingly towards old, white, men (we can also probably make good assumptions about sexual orientation from that). It should be no surprise that this audience doesn’t care about narrative films that generally target younger audiences. When they do decide to give Oscars to comic book movies, it’s for technical things or makeup, or they’re animated! You know, things that they would take their grandkids to see (no disrespect to The Incredibles or Big Hero Six, they were awesome).
Awards shows are generally bullshit, they only represent the feelings of a trusted few people and we tune in to see the glitz and glam and say, “Oh! I was right! I so called that win!” Just think of all the times that you’ve said something was ‘oscar-bait,’ or that they were just doing it for the awards. The public has always been ignored for Hollywood award shows, and truthfully, they’re not for us. The movies are for us, the awards are for the elites of the academy. Yes, a slew of prominent awards can make a movie more money and get it more exposure to the general populace, but so what? There are so many ways to find and see movies these days. We’re not relying on some hack at our local Blockbuster to choose what they think we want to watch based on awards. Any person with an internet connection can find and watch almost anything they want. That’s what we should be celebrating. Not what some geriatric snob thinks is ‘best.’
So what’s the point of all of this? Vote with your wallet. Go see the movies that you want to support. Find out what movies are coming out, and go see them. Don’t wait for some secret cabal of rich movie stars and producers to tell you what’s deserving of an award. The biggest award you can give a film is your $9 for a ticket. If we show them that it’s profitable to make movies like Wonder Woman, they will.
Okay, it would be nice to have the most prestigious (*gag*) award show recognize more diverse films, but let’s be real, this isn’t a fight that we win overnight. This is the pocketbooks and misguided personal judgments of a MASSIVELY rich group of old, white people. If we want to see more movies like Wonder Woman, we need to watch and demand more movies like Wonder Woman regardless of how many awards they’ll win. This is the long haul, this is proof that the gatekeepers in Hollywood haven’t heard us yet. keep the heat on.
Also we’re geeks, we don’t need the academy, we’ve got Comic Con. Hollywood ain’t got shit on us.