REDNECK PERSPECTIVE: Racial Equality at the Academy Awards

By on March 8, 2016

160309Redneck“Iboycotted the Academy Awards this year,” Susie told me. “I’m upset there were no black nominees despite several outstanding performances by black actors,” she complained. “Academy voters are 94 percent white, 77 percent male, and average 63 years old! It’s just not fair!”

I had attended Susie’s Academy Awards party each year until she married Manchester and moved to the Pines. Because we continued our “romantic encounters” after she married, it would be awkward for me to attend Awards parties with her and Manchester. So for the last several years I have been free to spend the evening playing poker or romanticizing with Lill, Alice or a sundry selection of Utah girls, and bask in the knowledge that Manchester was suffering through a three-hour orgy of pompous self glorifying celebrities ripping open envelopes to breathlessly announce winner of Best Movie, Best Director, Best Makeup and Hair Styling, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Tuna Salad at Studio, Best Tuna Salad at Location, Best Tuna Salad Song, Best Supporting Dill Pickle, Best Supporting Dill Pickle Relish, and on and on and on! And now Susie tells me Manchester bailed out! I’m pissed off at the old white men at the Academy too!

As Susie and I hadn’t expressed the physical aspect of our illicit affair for a few days I made an attempt to sound like I cared.

“Should a vote for artistic ability be subject to social concerns such as racial equality?” I asked. “Wouldn’t that degrade the integrity of the award and be an insult to minority actors?”

While I have no interest in integrity—artistic or otherwise—and my idea of societal equality would be free pickup trucks for everyone, I was happy to throw out a few big words to impress Susie and move the conversation toward an evening of lust and her making biscuits and gravy for breakfast!

“Clearly a group that is predominantly male, white and old, doesn’t inspire integrity,” I continued. “Why would any performer want to be honored by such an empty award?”

I am often impressed at my ability to discuss a subject that no one cares about with academic rigor and moral superiority. Maybe someday I could even become a Democrat! Then I had an idea: “Why don’t you come to my trailer tonight for the Hog Island Film Critics Association Awards!” I exclaimed.

“That will be great,” Susie said. Then she frowned. “You will consider minorities for awards?”

“We have strict requirements for choosing winners,” I assured Susie. “Race is not considered one way or the other.”

I told her the criteria for the Hog Island Film Critics Association Awards were as follows:

Best Actress: The prettiest girl who takes off her clothes the most.

Best Actor: The good guy who shoots the most bad guys.

Best Picture: The film combining the most Best Actress, Best Actor scenes.

“Oh Clyde,” she cooed, “you’re the most socially aware single-wide trailer dweller in all Hog Island!”

I blushed modestly. “Maybe in the top five,” I suggested. PJH

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