George Lucas On The Oscar Snubs: “The Academy Has Nothing To Do With Artistry”

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Fans of Hollywood and avid Awards Season watchers are still shaking their heads in disbelief over the controversy surrounding the Academy Awards nominations list this year. There was overwhelming talk of the lack of ethnic diversity and women represented in some of the biggest categories including Best Film and Best Director.

Here are some of the biggest surprises that left fans wondering whether the Film Academy has a secret “white male agenda” they are upholding. There is not ONE woman nominated for Best Director even though both Angelina Jolie (‘Unbroken’) and Ava DuVernay (‘Selma’) were nominated for the Golden Globes in the same category.

David Oyelowo who played Martin Luther King Jr. in ‘Selma’ was not nominated for Best Actor, ‘Selma’ itself was not nominated for Best Film, and Reese Witherspoon’s ‘Wild’ was also excluded from that most coveted category. Let’s not get too carried away however, because in 2014 ’12 years a Slave’ did clean up. But nevertheless, the disparity does exist, there is no denying that.

Academy President Cheryl Isaacs Boone said in a statement that change will continue to happen with regard to race and gender. It was also pointed out in the press that voting Academy members are 77% older white males. Each category is nominated on by members of those particular categories (directors vote for directors, i.e) but it is only the Best Picture category that everyone is able to cast a vote for.

With this is mind, the Academy should be a leader when it comes to setting standards of diversity amongst its ranks and creating initiatives that enable all ages, races and genders to become members. It is not just movie fans that are in uproar about this controversy, but people within the industry also.

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Filmmaker George Lucas, well known for his ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Indiana Jones’ films, made an appearance on ‘CBS This Morning‘ to promote his new animated music film ‘Strange Magic’, but also had a chance to express his views on diversity (or the lack thereof) in Hollywood).

He believes Ava DuVernay and David Oyelowo both should’ve been nominated. When asked whether he thinks the Academy should reflect more diversity, his answer was perfect.

“Well you’re not talking about the Academy, you’re talking about Hollywood. It’s not just the show, it’s everything,” he said.

He also doesn’t buy into the notion that there are only a number of slots available in each category for nominations.

“The thing about the Academy is that it’s a political campaign. It has nothing to do with artistic endeavor. I think it hurts everybody.”

When talking about why he chose to make an animated musical film, a firm departure from what he is most known for, George says it was important for him to make a film that was geared toward girls, as he has 3 daughters of his own, and in Hollywood making a film for a female audience still isn’t as popular.

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“I decided that I would make one of these films for girls, because you’re not supposed to do that. So I wanted to be contrarian,” he said.

As for the notion that musicals aren’t as popular or that only girls like them, George disagrees. Just look at the huge success of ‘Frozen’ worldwide and how it has become the 5th biggest selling film of ALL TIME!

“I think girls go to the movies just like everybody else does. That’s a marketing reality but it’s very powerful, and it’s very hard to counter it. [Studios] have their idea about what movies sell, and the industry is kinda run by the marketing department,” he says.

Basically, it’s time to do away with the old-school ways of marketing, i.e, stop using gender to market certain forms of entertainment (therefore encouraging harmful stereotypes) and let audiences dictate for themselves, as well as industry executives, what they want to see.

Hear more of the great George Lucas’ thoughts in the video below:


 

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  1. Pingback: Patricia Arquette & The 'Boyhood' Effect: "You're Not Supposed To Age In Hollywood"

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