Sunday, January 24, 2016
ACADEMY THROWS LONGTIME MEMBERS UNDER THE BUS!
ROUND-UP FOR 1-24-2016
Not the regular Round-up today. I’ve gone to every second Sunday, so the next one will be January 31st. Today’s entry is an open letter to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, and I’m running it here because this is the only soapbox that I’ve got.
January 24th, 2016
Dear Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences,
In a rush to rectify what many see as an injustice in awards nominations, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences appears to be on the verge of perpetrating a much greater injustice upon its own members. Along with the perfectly reasonable goals of greater inclusion, it has been suggested that Academy Members who have not been active in the film business in a decade should lose their voting rights.
To disenfranchise the very people who built this industry and art because of their age would be horrendously cruel and unfair. The Academy is an honor society for the most accomplished and respected members of the film business. Their work has been judged to withstand the test of time, which means almost by definition that its age-range will skew older. It is not a union, which would have a legitimate concern whether those voting on contracts are in fact currently employed.
I am not an Academy member, but I have known many over the years, quite a few of them in their eighties, and I have always marveled at their dedication. Many of them plan much of their lives around viewing the hundreds of movies that are required to be seen if they are to cast their votes in good conscience. I can think of no more conscientious and fair-minded a group. I cannot count the number of times a member has told me that, while they disapprove of everything a given filmmaker stands for, they are still voting for them because of the quality of their work.
And on a practical note, remember too that these retired or semi-retired Academy members are the ones who have the time to watch all of the films.
If you agree with me, please share this message as widely as possible. As I am not an Academy member, I don’t have access to their membership lists. If you are an Academy member, of if you know any, please be sure to share it with them. And please feel free to add your name.
Henry C. Parke
Please comment on Facebook, and on Twitter using #OscarSoAgeist
And please follow this link to read an open letter to The Hollywood Reporter by Milton Justice, a black Oscar-winning filmmaker: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/oscar-voter-diversity-push-is-858695?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=THR+Awards+Alerts_now_2016-01-24+11%3A50%3A33_awashington&utm_term=hollywoodreporter_therace_alerts