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sewhite2000

So, I Guess Dolores Hart Won't Be Voting for Best Picture Anymore

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One of Robert Osborne's favorite anecdotes over the years is about Dolores Hart, a pretty young actress who somehow became a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences despite a pretty slim credits list (she was in the acclaimed LONELYHEARTS, but other than that is probably best known for being the object of affection for Elvis in KING CREOLE and George Hamilton in WHERE THE BOYS ARE). Even though she took her vows as a nun in 1963, Ms. Hart/Sister Dolores has been dutifully voting for Best Picture every year ever since, watching copies of all the nominated films, even the rated R ones, at her Connecticut abbey. I believe she was even Guest Programmer of the Month once.

 

It's always been a cute story. I've found it charming to think of ol' Sister Dolores sitting through SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and THE DEER HUNTER and TAXI DRIVER and some of the other more unsettling Best Picture nominees of the past half century because that was her job, gosh darn it. But today, after an emergency board meeting convened in response to what appeared to be quickly escalating into a complete boycott of this year's ceremonies by every African-American who has anything to do with Hollywood except possibly show host Chris Rock (and black celebrities were also publicly demanding he step down), the Academy radically altered voting membership rules. If you haven't had anything to do with the movie industry for 10 years, your membership won't be renewed. And only after three consecutive 10-year periods in which you remain active can you now be granted lifetime membership. My understanding also is the changes will work retroactively as well, so that as of right now, any Academy member who hasn't worked on a movie in more than ten years has been stripped of his/her voting privileges. And that would include Sister Dolores.

 

The Academy clearly wants to divest itself of the notion that its membership is overrun with stodgy old white people who are only going to vote for films about white people ... and possibly straight people: Academy member Ernest Borgnine didn't make the voting membership look particularly progressive a few years ago when he publicly bashed BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN.

 

I'm curious to see what reaction (if any, we do collectively seem to be pretty blase about the Oscars on these message boards) my fellow posters have on the news.

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Thanks for sharing this. A few quick, preliminary thoughts--

 

What if someone is inactive for a period of ten years but in the eleventh year they make a comeback and wind up nominated for a film they did by coming out of retirement? Would this mean some people who can't actually vote anymore could still earn an award? 

 

The underlying thought is that younger working members are more progressive than older non-working ones. But is every single young person in the Academy that progressive? Some of them could still be a bit conservative in their views.

 

Also, I think the outcome they are seeking may not exactly occur as expected. There still have to be more jobs offered to minorities in order for this to work. But how can that happen when studios are not hiring more women to direct, are not hiring more non-whites to direct, and are not hiring minorities to write or produce? There could still be stodgy whites at the top of the corporate structures that control the studios. The Academy has no guaranteed control over that. Being nominated and having the opportunity to do the job in the first place and get nominated are two different things.

 

Am I making sense...?

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Here's a link to an extensive article about the emergency meeting and the changes to membership and voting rules during the meeting:

 

http://deadline.com/2016/01/oscars-diversity-academy-vows-to-double-number-of-women-and-diverse-members-by-2020-1201688409/

 

Reaction has been diverse: http://deadline.com/2016/01/academys-historic-changes-elicit-everything-from-praise-to-outrage-to-making-some-members-very-nervous-1201688617/ and will likely not be the last word from the Academy.

 

Gregory Peck, when he was the President of the Academy in the late 1960s, also guided the Academy through some major changes (due to the backlash that the Academy was out of touch with the new wave films from overseas and the films made by young filmmakers that were heralding a break from the studio era).

 

Will Cheryl Boone Isaacs be able to steer the Academy towards the horizon without creating more uproar? Stay tuned.

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So discriminating against Sister Dolores is the remedy for discrimination against non-whites?

All this controversy is GARBAGE, and only shows that nobody in the movie business is a serious responsible adult. There are no compatriots of Jose Ferrer and Rita Moreno among the candidates; should PR boycott the Oscar farce???

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Mother Dolores portrayed herself in God is the Bigger Elvis, a documentary released in 2012. It was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary, Short Subject category. Wouldn't that qualify her to vote?

 

More importantly, who cares about this brouhaha? Even Congressmen are weighing in. I guess the snowstorm in DC is keeping them from doing their "real" jobs, whatever that may be.

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So discriminating against Sister Dolores is the remedy for discrimination against non-whites?

All this controversy is GARBAGE, and only shows that nobody in the movie business is a serious responsible adult. There are no compatriots of Jose Ferrer and Rita Moreno among the candidates; should PR boycott the Oscar farce???

 

I thought the nominations had to do with the movies itself.  Will Smith is boycotting (must be mad over "After Earth").  PC has even infiltrated the Academy Awards and Oscars.  There was a thread on this subject about a year ago. 

 

Excerpt from article below...

 

"The Academy president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, said she was heartbroken and frustrated by the lack of diversity".

 

Oh boo hoo, hand her a handkerchief.

 

http://The Academy president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, said she was “heartbroken and frustrated” by the lack of diversity

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Mother Dolores portrayed herself in God is the Bigger Elvis, a documentary released in 2012. It was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary, Short Subject category. Wouldn't that qualify her to vote?

 

More importantly, who cares about this brouhaha? Even Congressmen are weighing in. I guess the snowstorm in DC is keeping them from doing their "real" jobs, whatever that may be.

 

Guess you haven't noticed, Rich. The line between politics and entertainment vanished just about the time office seekers(especially those running for POTUS) started going on late night talk shows to yuck it up with the likes of Letterman and Leno!

 

(...and so welcome to this "glorious" new modern world, dude!)

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I am not writing this to be funny, but maybe the Academy can give Mother Delores a dispensation.The documentary on Elvis was very good, and there are some people where extenuating circumstances should be considered.I am interested in how many films being shown during the next two weeks at the Sundance Film Festival are represented by minorities.The best of these films are bought by major studios to be shown to the public in 2016. 

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Another random thought I had about all this--

 

Wouldn't there be minority actors, directors and technicians who have not made a film in more than ten years. So why would you cut them out of the voting process when that is the very thing that should be prevented.

 

I don't think they're going about this the right way. They are exchanging the evils of racism for the evils of agism. 

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newspaper_zpsyzfnwawr.jpg

 

"The estate of George Armstrong Custer declined to comment on the controversy".

 

DUH! I wonder why? :blink:

 

(some grudges are hard to bury)

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Want a laugh at the expense of Puerto Rico?

We have an awards show that is the equivalent of the Golden Globes. For a long time it was harshly criticized because its usual policy was to give just about everybody in Puerto Rican show business a prize, regardless of whether that prize was truly deserved; friendship trumped merit. Finally its administration became concerned about the widespread lack of respect for the show, and applied stringent reforms; now the show is truly respected because the winners really deserve their awards.

That principle clearly applies to the Oscar, and to all the other movie award festivals. Spike Lee was not nominated because his work for a particular year was mediocre? That's Lee's fault, not the Oscar people, and neither Lee nor anybody else should expect awards just to keep a façade of diversity that does not fit with the true merit of the movies being considered.

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"The Academy president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, said she was heartbroken and frustrated by the lack of diversity".

I think what they really want isn't diversity, but LETELU -- Looks Exotic, Thinks Exactly Like Us.
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The most important factor that influences the nominations are what movies each voter has seen.   It is logical to assume it is rare for a voter to nominate a film or the actors, director, screenplay writer etc.. associated with said film, IF they have NOT seen said film.    

 

e.g. A voter isn't voting on the best picture of the year,  but instead the best picture they have seen released in that year.

 

Diversity of the membership is much more likely to result in more diversity of the overall films seen by all voters.    In this sense diversity of the membership isn't garbage or some crazy PC type notion.   

 

 

        

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Now that we have reached the 21st century , many institutions are fighting to stay relevant. The Academy is no different. For so long they have become ultimate award show for film. With so many awards out there, they have remained the top one and want to stay there. So they have major decisions to make.  

 

But, if they appear out of touch with today's films, people will go elsewhere. We see it with Miss America having trouble finding a channel that will air it. Horse tracks and golf courses are closing all over America. Times are a changing !

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The most important factor that influences the nominations are what movies each voter has seen.   It is logical to assume it is rare for a voter to nominate a film or the actors, director, screenplay writer etc.. associated with said film, IF they have NOT seen said film.    

 

e.g. A voter isn't voting on the best picture of the year,  but instead the best picture they have seen released in that year.

 

Diversity of the membership is much more likely to result in more diversity of the overall films seen by all voters.    In this sense diversity of the membership isn't garbage or some crazy PC type notion.   

 

The tragic life of my 86 y/o mother, who wore herself out into poor health trying to please everybody who demanded the impossible from her, is the perfect warning for anybody who tries to do the same, including the movie people.

Forget about putting up with the unreasonable demands of people who demand the impossible, and stick instead to making good movies and rewarding those who deserve to be rewarded. I'm not giving up on the Oscar because Chris Rock is not a compatriot of Benicio del Toro; Rock obviously can't be a member of every ethnicity in the world--other than HUMAN, which is the one that really counts.

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The tragic life of my 86 y/o mother, who wore herself out into poor health trying to please everybody who demanded the impossible from her, is the perfect warning for anybody who tries to do the same, including the movie people.

Forget about putting up with the unreasonable demands of people who demand the impossible, and stick instead to making good movies and rewarding those who deserve to be rewarded. I'm not giving up on the Oscar because Chris Rock is not a compatriot of Benicio del Toro; Rock obviously can't be a member of every ethnicity in the world--other than HUMAN, which is the one that really counts.

 

You're as over the top as the people you're complaining about.     If the goal of the Oscars is to reward those who deserve to be rewarded then diversity of the voting membership clearly supports that goal.     A HUMAN can only see so many films and which films they wish to see relates to their background as a HUMAN.    The more HUMANS with different backgrounds the more films and associated actors, directors, etc...   in consideration.      That is what really counts.

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You're as over the top as the people you're complaining about.     If the goal of the Oscars is to reward those who deserve to be rewarded then diversity of the voting membership clearly supports that goal.     A HUMAN can only see so many films and which films they wish to see relates to their background as a HUMAN.    The more HUMANS with different backgrounds the more films and associated actors, directors, etc...   in consideration.      That is what really counts.

 

Then what are people like Lee complaining about? His own career is proof that 2016 is not 1939, when people like Hattie McDaniel and

Butterfly McQueen were restricted to supporting roles as domestics. I'm certainly not making a fuss about Boricuas not getting nominations; 'tis the luck of the draw.

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Then what are people like Lee complaining about? His own career is proof that 2016 is not 1939, when people like Hattie McDaniel and

Butterfly McQueen were restricted to supporting roles as domestics. I'm certainly not making a fuss about Boricuas not getting nominations; 'tis the luck of the draw.

 

This thread is about existing members that may lose their voting rights because the academy is making changes to ensure the overall voting members are more representative of the overall movie making industry.     

 

Is that a good thing to do, YES or NO?      I say YES.    IF you believe NO,  I'm interested in why you believe the change isn't good.

 

Note:  I understand that this change will NOT ensure a more diverse group of films or what actors, directors,  will be nominated.   But it will ensure that a more diverse group of films will be seen by voting members.     To me that makes the change worthwhile.

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This thread is about existing members that may lose their voting rights because the academy is making changes to ensure the overall voting members are more representative of the overall movie making industry.     

 

Is that a good thing to do, YES or NO?      I say YES.    IF you believe NO,  I'm interested in why you believe the change isn't good.

 

Note:  I understand that this change will NOT ensure a more diverse group of films or what actors, directors,  will be nominated.   But it will ensure that a more diverse group of films will be seen by voting members.     To me that makes the change worthwhile.

I don't think it should be about existing members losing their voting rights. That's like saying to an American, if you haven't served on jury duty in ten years, we're going to revoke your right to vote and make you a second-class citizen.

 

It should be about bringing new people in to mix with the more established crowd. It definitely shouldn't be some weird political euthanasia where we are eliminating people simply because we don't want to be reminded of the past or our overall cultural history, which combines the good and the bad.

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I don't think it should be about existing members losing their voting rights. That's like saying to an American, if you haven't served on jury duty in ten years, we're going to revoke your right to vote and make you a second-class citizen.

 

It should be about bringing new people in to mix with the more established crowd. It definitely shouldn't be some weird political euthanasia where we are eliminating people simply because we don't want to be reminded of the past or our overall cultural history, which combines the good and the bad.

 

In another thread related to this topic I posted that the Academy should add members to increase diversity instead of dropping existing ones.   But I don't agree that dropping people as voters is 'eliminating people simply because we don't want to be reminded of the past or our overall cultural history';   Instead the rules that governed who gets to vote should have been set up decades ago to ensure voters as a whole represented the industry as a whole.     Since that wasn't the case this type of 'purge' becomes necessary (again, unless they just added a lot of new members). 

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I don't think it should be about existing members losing their voting rights. That's like saying to an American, if you haven't served on jury duty in ten years, we're going to revoke your right to vote and make you a second-class citizen.

 

It should be about bringing new people in to mix with the more established crowd. It definitely shouldn't be some weird political euthanasia where we are eliminating people simply because we don't want to be reminded of the past or our overall cultural history, which combines the good and the bad.

 

Since this procedure would not guarantee a more diverse list of nominees, especially when you consider that many who have the right to vote are very lax in following that responsibility, it's all really a waste of time--a political placebo to please characters like Sharpton, who smell racism in everything and everywhere.

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In another thread related to this topic I posted that the Academy should add members to increase diversity instead of dropping existing ones.   But I don't agree that dropping people as voters is 'eliminating people simply because we don't want to be reminded of the past or our overall cultural history';   Instead the rules that governed who gets to vote should have been set up decades ago to ensure voters as a whole represented the industry as a whole.     Since that wasn't the case this type of 'purge' becomes necessary (again, unless they just added a lot of new members). 

I don't think members should be added just for the sake of increasing diversity. We would never say, we need to hire more diverse pilots to the airlines-- especially if those newer pilots are not skilled and truly people who do not belong in that professional union; adding them just so we can increase the numbers in certain demographic areas and thus have diversity could be fatal. It has to always reflect who is able to sustain a career in the industry due to a certain amount of skill or talent. Not because of their cultural heritage.

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