Oscars’ new diversity & inclusion rules do not do enough to purge Hollywood of the evil of straight white men
Michael McCaffrey is a writer and cultural critic who lives in Los Angeles. His work can be read at RT, Counterpunch and at his website mpmacting.com/blog. He is also the host of the popular cinema podcast Looking California and Feeling Minnesota. Follow him on Twitter @MPMActingCo
The Academy Awards have set stringent new diversity guidelines to which all films must adhere by 2024 if they want to be considered for the prestigious Best Picture award.
The new guidelines require films to meet on screen representation standards where at least one of the lead actors or a significant supporting actor must be either Asian, Hispanic, black, Indigenous, Native American, Middle Eastern, North African, native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.
Cinephiles can sleep well knowing that Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s movies will still be eligible for Best Picture.Also on rt.com Oscars’ ‘diversity’ quotas could hamstring storytelling and fill movies with meaningless token characters
If a film doesn’t meet the actor requirement then it can still pass the test by having representation from those same minority groups along with women, LGBTQ and people with cognitive or physical disabilities or who are deaf or hard of hearing represented in acceptable numbers behind the scenes on the crew, in apprenticeships or internships or in executive positions.
The bottom line is basically if you are a straight white guy in Hollywood you’ve just been served notice that your skill and talents are only needed for as long as it takes to train your female or minority replacement.
As someone who has long felt that hiring people based on their talent and skill was a devout evil, I for one welcome our new diversity and inclusion overlords and want to let them know that as a straight white male I could be useful in sniffing out other straight white men in Hollywood trying to scheme their way into being considered a worthy minority.
La La Land being La La Land I’m sure there are a plethora of desperados already strategizing on how to circumvent these new rules that will make Rachel Dolezal and Jessica Krug look like pikers.
As of right now the Academy is saying that the new standards will be enforced by “spot checks” on set….but I am deeply concerned that those “spot checks” won’t be strenuous enough to rid the movie industry of the damned straight white male menace that plagues it.Also on rt.com Hollywood’s hollow virtue signaling in making random characters gay, does nothing to help progress the LGBTQ cause
I have a few proposals to help strengthen inclusion enforcement and assure diversity compliance.
1. I think Academy Gestapo, oops, I mean enforcement officers, should be armed with a standard color chart where they can hold up the color card next to a person and see if their skin color matches the “right” (aka non-white) tone to be allowed to work on a movie. If someone is too light skinned they can immediately be escorted off of the set and counselors can be brought in to soothe the traumatized left in the white male devil’s wake.
2. In order to ensure that no white men ever slip through the cracks, I also propose a partnership between the DNA testing company 23 and Me and the Academy Awards. Everyone working on every movie must be forced to give a DNA test in order to prove their ethnic or racial heritage.
And let’s be clear, we want pure minorities…none of this “my mother is black and Latina and my father is Asian and white” business because that still means the curse of whiteness is coursing through their veins. Any drop of white blood in a person should be unacceptable in Hollywood.
It will also be LA law that everyone must carry their DNA papers with them at all times. Failure to have your papers will result in immediate expulsion from the movie industry.
The 23 and Me results could actually become a fun part of Oscar night where an envelope is opened on stage revealing the film with the most diversity, which is then declared Best Picture. I think we can all agree this is how Best Picture should always be determined, not by the antiquated measure of artistic quality and worth.Also on rt.com Shia LaBeouf accused of brownface & Halle Berry quits her transgender role… to please woke crowds, we must simply #cancelacting
3. One troubling diversity and inclusion loophole is that some deplorable straight white male could claim to be gay, thus qualifying as a minority. Let it be known throughout Hollywood that just using unorthodox pronouns like They/Them or Ze/Zir will not be enough to prove minority status! White men will have to pass a specially designed test that measures if they are “gay enough” to be allowed to work.
Obviously the Academy should hire me as a turncoat consultant, but if they don’t I’m already getting deviously entrepreneurial by hoarding hearing aids that I can rent out on the white market for $200/a day to other straight white men so that they can claim to be “hard of hearing” just to keep their grueling gigs as gaffers.
My sincere wish is that Hollywood succeeds in curing itself of its straight white male pandemic. Straight white men, be they Martin Scorsese, Daniel Day-Lewis or regular working Joes, have stained cinema with their straight white maleness for long enough.
Somewhere there is a deaf, transgender Indigenous actor signing the phrase, “Alright Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close up!” Let’s hope these new diversity and inclusion rules make They/Them into the biggest star in the universe and the dream of a woke Hollywood utopia churning out cinematic mediocrity into a reality.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.