Awards season backlash shows Hollywood still has no clue

Awards season backlash shows Hollywood still has no clue

January 12, 2019

Hollywood in awards season is a bit like Mr Bean at a funfair, bumbling its way through a series of head-shaking miscues and unbelievable mishaps.

Brian May, left, and Roger Taylor, right, of Queen, and Rami Malek pose with the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture, Drama for Bohemian Rhapsody. Credit:Invision

"What's so bad about the Queen biopic?" you might ask, besides it being a) a biopic, and b) about Queen. It was largely directed by Bryan Singer, who's long faced accusations of serious sexual abuse (Singer has countered the allegations as "fictional and irresponsible"). He was dumped from the project with two weeks left to shoot and replaced by Dexter Fletcher, better known to a generation as Spike from Press Gang, but Singer's name remains on the packet.

In their acceptance speech, the film's producers glossed over the director, instead heaping praise on star Rami Malek. But Singer punctured that cheery visage when he took to Instagram after the ceremony, thanking the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for the "honour" with a behind-the-scenes photo pointedly featuring himself in a chair marked "director".

In another controversial move, the Globes gave their other top prize, Best Picture Comedy, to Green Book, writer/director Peter Farrelly's period-piece set in the US's segregated south. The film has copped criticism over its cuddly portrayal of Jim Crow-era race relations, while the family of its real-life protagonist Don Shirley (played by Globes Best Supporting Actor winner Mahershala Ali) blasted its depiction of Shirley's friendship with his white driver as a "symphony of lies".

If that wasn't enough, Farrelly has also been forced to apologise for a history of "flashing his penis" at unsuspecting co-workers, a "running gag" that caught out Cameron Diaz during the filming of 1998 hit There's Something About Mary.

"True. I was an idiot," Farrelly told The Cut this week. "I did this decades ago and I thought I was being funny and the truth is I'm embarrassed and it makes me cringe now. I'm deeply sorry."

Peter Farrelly accepts the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture, Comedy for Green Book.Credit:NBC

With the Oscars still over a month away, that's already an astonishing string of lingering baggage to take into the ceremony. That such controversies have gone unconsidered, or even overlooked, by both the HFPA and the Academy proves Hollywood remains run by pea-brains.

Despite the lip service paid to #TimesUp platitudes, Hollywood seems intent on rewarding its offenders – so, come Oscars, it might as well go all out. Presenting spots for Casey Affleck and James Franco! A lifetime achievement award for Johnny Depp! A live satellite cross to Bill Cosby's cell! And someone call Rowan Atkinson about that hosting gig; at this point it just makes sense.

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