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Why I'm Quitting the Oscars

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For quite some time now I've been live tweeting the Academy Awards. It started off innocently enough 7 or so years ago, where I figured I'd just tweet the results as they were announced. It was good for the site to provide a live results service as such, for people who were at work or who weren't subscribed to premium channels on this side of the pond. Those few tweets soon turned into not only the actual results but a running commentary, and quickly people around the world were joining in with the madness that I was churning out in 140 characters.
It became quite addictive, especially when random internet strangers would email or message you  days before the actual awards, wondering was there some Oscar commentary going to be happening. As my Twitter account feeds my personal Facebook page, people who weren't joining in live would spend ages reading hundreds of tweets the following day through my timeline.


Truth be told, I loved giving a running commentary on the Oscars. I genuinely did. For the best part, many of the tweets were far from the hilarity I envisioned them as, but people seem to have a smile on their face and all was well with the world. And that's what mattered really.


However, in the last 24 hours I've decided I'm quitting covering the Oscars live. On this side of the pond the back slapping begins at 130am local time and doesn't end until around 5am. That's a long night when you've been running around with kids and doing other things that day. My usual routine involved a 2-3 hour nap beforehand, and then once the ceremony was over, I'd update the site with the actual winners list and go to bed for an hour or so before doing the school run. Once that was over, I would either do our Oscar podcast special, or just go to bed, suffering from horrendous, sleep deprived headaches.  Up until last night, all this was tolerable. Fuck it, as I mentioned, I loved doing it. In fact, truth be told, I loved Oscar week. I loved having my own little Oscar party laptop in hand, with people on night shifts or whatever, all over the world.


But listening to one of my all time favourite comedians constantly yammer on about racism in Hollywood was the straw that broke this camel's back, or should that be this camel's black. Hang on, Chris Rock isn't writing this. An opening monologue saw Chris Rock do nothing but play the racism card. For years, in my other broadcasting life, I covered racism topics, night after night, morning after morning. I get it. But for a show that is supposed to be celebrating the best in movies, it was an absolute disservice to all involved. Above all else, it was embarrassing.

The Academy should be hanging their heads in shame this morning (especially considering this was an 8 year low ratings wise for the Oscars) for agreeing to let Rock go on a rampage like that in an opening monologue. I figured the monologue was as bad as it was going to get. Big fool me. From "We're Black" instead of "We're Back" to pointless and boring pre recorded videos, again constantly hammering on about poor black actors, this was bullshit of the highest form.


This wasn't a political rally. This was supposed to be an entertainment show, showing rich people slapping each other on the back. The biggest point Rock could have made was to pull out of the Oscars and not take the pay cheque. But he still took it. And the audience both in the Dolby Theatre and at home, had to take it as well.
Maybe there is racism in Hollywood. I don't know. Chances are, it's rife, like everywhere else. But considering there is 7,000 Academy members who can vote on who and what gets what, it's more likely that they aren't all conspiring to keep Black, Latino, Asian and fuck knows who else out of the running. While racism is one issue, actors or their wives throwing the toys out of the pram is another problem altogether, and if anything, highlights another problem with Hollywood.


Was Will Smith's performance in Concussion so good that he was really hard done by and didn't get nominated? A solid Nigerian accent combined with an average performance is not Oscar worthy. I really don't care what you say, it's not. To turn Smith's non nomination into this circus is simply a disgrace. His performance wasn't good enough. It's not that he's black. He wasn't good enough. Simple as. I'm sure big Willie knows this deep down. After all, getting nominated for an Oscar or any award should be down to the talent a performer has and not the colour of their skin. Otherwise, there is no shortage of Irish, British and European actors who can cry the exact same thing. Since this shit storm in a tea cup has exploded, the Academy have been running for the hills.


In January, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, announced new rules she hopes will double the amount of women and non-white members of the academy by 2020.
"The Academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up," Isaacs said in a statement. "These new measures regarding governance and voting will have an immediate impact and begin the process of significantly changing our membership composition." The main changes being members are stripped of their voting status if they have not been active in the last 10 years and new members will no longer need two existing members to sponsor them.
So, I’ve figured what’s the point in enduring this any more. The Oscars are supposed to be fun. They are supposed to be entertaining. If I wanted a political debate, I would have found one somewhere else. Yes, it’s part of the site and what we do at The Movie Bit, and arguably the Oscars are the biggest movie event of the year. From now on however, we’ll just copy and paste the winners press release onto the site. Listening to black this and black that for nearly 4 hours destroyed me last night. It highlighted all that is wrong in the Hollywood, but in a way that is far removed from correct, and for a while, sleep deprived or not, it destroyed my passion for movies. 
So with a heavy heart, I quit the whole live Oscars coverage bullshit. And just like the lowest Oscars audience in 8 years, nobody cares anyway.

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The Movie Bit: Why I'm Quitting the Oscars
Why I'm Quitting the Oscars
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