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Oscar night

The Nielsen ratings from the Oscar presentations last Sunday evening were up from a year ago. As in most years, I watched as many of the presentations as possible. I enjoy watching the Oscars, in part, to gauge the direction in which the Hollywood establishment is headed in its beliefs and opinions. In recent years, by the time I stop watching the telecast I usually end up feeling offended. I suspect I am not alone in taking offense.

I think most people appreciate great cinematography, music, costumes, a good story and great actors/actresses bringing those stories to life. But increasingly it seems that Oscar night is becoming less about great movies and more about advancements of political correctness and other agenda. Listening to the various acceptance speeches the other night certainly bears out that assertion. Several of the acceptance speeches dealt with gay rights, others dealt with politics and Bill Maher explained how foolish we believers are for believing in God.

I submit that many Americans do not share the same moral and political views held by many within the Hollywood establishment. Therefore, when Hollywood makes movies that advance its own agenda, and then lavishly awards those movies, many Americans feel insulted. Recognizing this, am I saying that Hollywood should give out awards for movies that reflect traditional values and beliefs as opposed to movies that advance the Hollywood agenda?

I recognize that film making is an art. And art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. However, Hollywood films are also a part of a business, meaning the films are made to make money. The films do make money and impact our popular culture. Movies are a powerful medium of expression by any measure. This should lend itself to Hollywood accepting some sense of moral or cultural responsibility for what it sells. But many times it seems that responsibility is ignored in favor of making many movies that contain “what sells”. I leave it to your imagination to define that term.

When Hollywood makes movies containing “what sells”, many of those who hold traditional values take offense. Then when Hollywood refuses to validate those same movies with any award, those who flocked to the movies take offense. For they interpret those actions as Hollywood saying that “those” movies are not art, but are mere intellectual and eye candy. While I may agree with that assertion in some cases, I cannot think of another business model that can sustain itself by offending so many people. Despite this, the show must go on, and as long as the Hollywood establishment is making money, it is not likely to fix this problem.

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