Keep politics out of the Oscars

Awards seasons has come to an end, leaving all those involved thoroughly exhausted.  Others were rather worn out by the political turns of the final ceremony.

Hollywood had spoiled spectators this year.  A modern musical to escape the current realities of life, an animated film on a Polynesian princess sailing through high water to reach her destiny, and the difficult life of an African-American man raised by a drug addict as he discovers his sexuality. Among the titles was also political biopic that left people perplexed by the Oscar criteria for a nomination.

Following the traditional steps; read card, hand award, and hear speech, viewers were privy to a mishap Best Actress winner Emma Stone dubbed “the craziest Oscar moment of all time.”

79 year-old Bonnie and Clyde actor Warren Beatty was handed a card unrelated to that of “Best Picture” and confusedly handed it to Faye Dunawaye, his Bonnie co-star who ended up announcing the wrong winner.

For those not in the know, La La Land was handed the statuettes and relinquished them to Moonlight mid-speech.

Barry Jenkins and his crew deserved an Oscar night. Image: MarketWatch.

Amid the conspiracies, the contributions of other artists and the strange excitement of it all, the mistake left a bitter after-taste.

While Moonlight is an important film for any decade, La La Land was as worthy of its nominations for very different reasons. It entertained, allowed for dreams and featured an invigorating soundtrack.

Although it sent no political message of its own, it was what a film should be: a moment to release oneself from the worries of real life.

Instead, militants complained about its lack of activism. Online, one was told to remain vigilant, for to turn away was to take one’s privilege and scoff at those less fortunate.

Somehow, an awards show about entertainment and the ability to write a good story turned into a softer version of the Pulitzer Prize.

Society makes it difficult to forget the less comforting leaders of the world, to continue living without being reminded that our hopping on a bus for an activity we do not wish to attend, because our mental health is wearing us out, is a sign of blatant privilege next to those praying to be saved by White Helmets (the winner for Best Short Documentary) in Aleppo.

We are indeed fortunate to live a life of education, hard work and partying to dance it all away. We are extremely privileged to be able to choose what we eat, when we eat it and whom we eat it with.

Globally, we are the lucky ones.

It is not our responsibility, however, to use any non-working hours to scrutinise the media and listen to bigots trying to cut women’s basic rights. Party leaders addressing upcoming referendums a year too late, or journalists omitting subtle details of inflammatory speech.

Our responsibility, as modern citizens, is to ensure we are in the right mental state to battle these harmful elements of life during organised protests and social gatherings.

If we have the luxury of resting between rallies, we should do it not because we are complacent to history as it unfolds, but because those who rely on us deserve worthwhile statements which were put together with care.

We are only human.

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