Danny Glover Suggests Doing Away with the Oscars

Associated Press
Associated Press
Park City, UT

Veteran actor Danny Glover told industry publication Variety on Tuesday that the film industry might find it beneficial to move away from “subjective” awards shows, such as the Academy Awards.

The actor, whose film Complete Unknown premiered Monday at the Sundance Film Festival, also suggested Hollywood should considering using the diverse projects being debuted at the annual festival as a sort of blueprint for creating more diverse stories and characters.

“We need to talk about the process, the democratization of making movies, not 15 men deciding ‘You’re going to see this movie this year and this movie,” he said in regards to this year’s renewed #OscarsSoWhite controversy. “The Academy and everything else has been what it is since the outset.”

Glover, who has never won or been nominated for an Academy Award, described the Oscars as “subjective,” and added, “Maybe we should do away with them.”

“We don’t find movies that tell us about the real, everyday survival people. How they build families, communities” he said, “how to redefine family, community in the wake of all the devastation.”

Glover told Variety that in his youth, a wide array of international films were readily available for viewing in mainstream theaters; however, he complained that $100 million tentpoles have replaced those “real” stories.

“Artists are the gatekeepers of truth,” he said. “(But) I don’t see diversity in film in the world at all anymore.”

Glover added that growing up watching diverse films in the 1960s and 1970s “would widen my whole sense of myself and my relationship to the rest of the world.”

He concluded, “That’s what the movies and art is supposed to be about!”

On Friday Jan. 22, the Academy announced a series of aggressive new measures to its voting rules and organizational structure, which are ultimately aimed at doubling the number of female and minority members by the year 2020.

The new measures remove voting privileges from many older Academy members and aggressively recruit new voting members “who represent greater diversity.”

The actions were taken following a growing boycott by of the Feb. 28 awards show.

While mainstream Hollywood continues to grapple with the issue of diversity in film, Sundance founder Robert Redford told Variety in a separate interview that his festival has always been devoted to being inclusive.

“It’s a word I operate from,” Redford said of diversity. “If you’re independent-minded, you’re going to do things different than the common form: That’s something we’re genuinely proud of — how we show diversity — because it’s tied to the fundamental word of ‘independent.’”