Nolte: R. Lee Ermey Blacklisted By Oscar’s In Memoriam Tribute

Actor R. Lee Ermey arrives at the premiere of New Line's 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning' at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on October 5, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
Michael Buckner/Getty Images

There were plenty of snubs in the Oscar’s annual In Memoriam segment Sunday night, but a political blacklist is the only possible reason for the Academy’s decision to shun the great R. Lee Ermey.

Stanley Donen? He died just hours prior to the telecast.

Oscar nominee Sondra Locke?  She has been out of the public eye for decades.

John Mahoney? TV star.

Ricky Jay? Too few movies.

Verne Troyer? Too few movies.

Lee Ermey?

Lee freakin’ Ermey?

This snub is without question the act of Hollywood blacklisters who want the man erased, memory-holed, and forgotten… A man who’s personal political beliefs are verboten in an increasingly fascist industry.

Ermey was a Marine for 11 years and a decorated Vietnam veteran. When he retired from the Corps in 1972 due to injuries, he jumped into the motion picture business as a technical adviser. This led to a storied acting career that anyone with any aspiration in that field would envy.

Over the course of a 40-year career, Ermey stacked up 125 film and television credits. This includes roles in a number of popular and iconic movies, including Mississippi Burning (1985), Leaving Las Vegas (1995), Se7en (1995), Dead Man Walking (1995), Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), and the Toy Story trilogy (1995 – 2010).

On television, he appeared in Miami Vice, The Simpsons, Family Guy, and a ton of other animated shows. He was also the star of his own reality shows.

Above all that, though, Ermey created one of the most iconic performances in the history of cinema as Gny. Sgt Hartman in director Stanley Kubrick’s 1987 masterpiece Full Metal Jacket. In fact, you could argue Ermey’s performance is the most iconic of that particular decade.

And yet… Watch right here on Sunday night as Hollywood blacklists Ermey for holding unacceptable political beliefs:

I don’t want to be in the business of naming all those who were honored Sunday night even though they are objectively less deserving than Ermey. Hey, God bless them, they all deserve it, as did those mentioned above, like Sondra Locke and Verne Troyer. In a three-plus hour show, this is where these bastards choose to cut?

Ermey is different, though, an iconic presence and voice who was a welcome part of our lives for decades. The Academy’s snub is inexplicable — unless you look at the fact that Ermey was a proud and open Republican and defender of the 2nd Amendment.

Here is TCM’s annual In Memoriam tribute, which has never engaged in blacklisting. Naturally, Ermey receives his due:

P.S. Forget about the politics for a moment and just compare the Oscar tribute to the TCM tribute — look at the quality of the work, which one is the most moving and compelling. How is it that a cable network simply blows away the Motion Picture Academy every year?

The Academy has access to the finest editors in the world, and their In Memoriam segment is bland, lifeless, hollow-eyed, and dull. Meanwhile, year after year after year, TCM wrenches our hearts.

The Oscars are broken forever.

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.


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