Originally created 04/08/06

Hollywood has long been out of touch

Perhaps he wasn't only acting like he didn't know what he was talking about.

During the last Academy awards, George Clooney said that "we are a little bit out of touch in Hollywood ... . I think it's probably a good thing. We're the ones who talked about AIDS when it was just being whispered, and we talked about civil rights when it wasn't really popular.

"And we, you know, we bring up subjects. This Academy, this group of people gave Hattie McDaniel an Oscar in 1939 when blacks were still sitting in the backs of theaters. I'm proud to be a part of this Academy. Proud to be part of this community, and proud to be out of touch."

Indeed, Ms. McDaniel did win an Oscar in 1939. It took a long time for her to accept, though, because of the long, long walk from the back of the theater. That is where she was forced to sit. Seems it "wasn't really popular" to let black people sit up front.

But since he brought it up, public schools and sports would integrate, and there would be a black U.S. secretary of state before a black woman would win a best actress award from Mr. Clooney's Academy - 62 years later.

Is there a premise upon which pride can be applied to that situation?

Parting Glances was the first movie about AIDS. An independent film, it wasn't released until 1986. Clooney's Academy didn't see any reason to recognize it.

More than $2 billion had been spent by the Reagan administration on AIDS research before Clooney's Academy gave the first award to an AIDS movie - Philadelphia - in 1993.

Is there a premise upon which pride can be applied to that situation?

Clooney's Hollywood: proud to be out of touch - very, very out of touch.

Mike Fulford, Evans


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