FIRST — THE PREAMBLE
A Q&A (plus translation) with Tom Sherak – President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences – on February 16th 2011
Question: “Why not put that occasion on TV so that actors such as Lauren Bacall and Eli Wallach and filmmakers such as Roger Corman can have a brief moment of respect in public?”
Answer: “We want to keep the evening special so they can be themselves. As we go forward, we might do some live streaming.”
Translation: We don’t want any old people drooling on camera. We’re not the Golden Girls. We’re the Golden Statue that brings Golden Bullion to us. And old people just don’t count. Not enough ratings. It’s not like we’re some kind of Academy with a mission to honor excellence! We’re in showbiz baby! So screw ‘em. We’re in the Facebook era now….
The Academy Awards are as American as apple pie — and jolly good they are too by and large. But in one respect they would be even better if they were organized by people who are steeped in Indian culture rather than by those who practice the “etiquette” that passes for ethics in present-day Hollywood and who worship at the alter of the mighty dollar and craving for the approval of young consumers uber alles.
Because Indian social mores are all about the younger generation expressing its respect and appreciation for the elders and achievers in its society. Advancing in years is not considered a negative in Indian society — it is an achievement in itself. And if the person has got impressive accomplishments to his or her name, then there is even greater homage paid.
Compare that to our Academy Awards. Now of course respect is shown towards past Oscar winners if they are still producing the dollars for the studios and are deemed likely to capture TV audience eyeballs. Those stars are paraded down the red carpet and asked to present awards to this year’s winners.
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