March 1st a billboard will be unveiled in Los Angeles that attacks the Oscars for being a White Man’s club. (This is not a particularly new idea, Chris Gore wrote about the “whiteness” of the Oscars in an editorial last year called THE OSCARS: WHITE PEOPLEâ€™S DRAMA MOVIE AWARDS.) Funding the scathing billboard are The Guerrilla Girls and filmmaker Alice Locas. They decided it was time for a little realism in Hollywood, and are encouraging the media to, “This year, don’t just cover the Oscars… uncover them!” They’re erecting a billboard at Melrose and Highland in Los Angeles where it will be on display from March 1-31. The billboard presents “The Anatomically Correct Oscar.” They redesigned the old boy so he, in the words of the Guerrilla Girls, “…more closely resembles the white males who take him home each year.”
The Guerrilla Girls point out the following facts: ^ Did you know that no woman has ever won the Oscar for Best Director? That 94% of the writing awards have gone to men? Or that only 3% of all the acting awards-lead and supporting-have ever gone to people of color. ^ Why are women and people of color shunned by Oscar? Because they’re shunned by the film industry. Hollywood likes to think of itself as cool, edgy and ahead of its time, but it actually lags way behind the rest of society in employing women and people of color in top positions. 93% of major films are directed by males. No woman has ever won an Oscar for Cinematography or Sound. Even 85% of the make-up awards have gone to men. ^ Sure, it’s great that three African-Americans were nominated for acting awards this year. But it’s been 29 years since that last happened, and we still have to see if any of them win. Meanwhile, Latinos account for only 5% of movie roles, Asians 2%, Native Americans .02%. And female actors get only 25% of starring roles.
“The Anatomically Correct Oscar” billboard is a project by Alice Locas, a mysterious group of women filmmakers, and the Guerrilla Girls, America’s favorite feminist masked avengers. Last year, they invaded the Sundance Film Festival and the Oscars with a sticker campaign proclaiming “The U.S. Senate is more progressive than Hollywood. Female Senators: 9%, Female directors: 4%.” They asked supporters to put their stickers up in movie theater bathrooms all over the world. They heard from irate theater owners from as far away as New Zealand.
See pictures of the billboard and get stickers, available for download, from Guerrilla Girls.com.
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Posted on February 26, 2002 in News by Film Threat Staff
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