When Business Depends on the Kindness of Strangers
The Academy sends out dozens of DVDs in up to 75 categories and trusts that the members will watch all of them.
Members with chums that have been nominated will vote for their friends no matter what. Enemies will vote against enemies. Those with personal agendas will vote their consciences—not the artistic achievement.
In the immortal words of George C. Scott (who refused to accept the award for “Patton”): “The ceremonies are a two-hour meat parade, a public display with contrived suspense for economic reasons.”
In the Jan. 29, 2007 edition of The New York Times, Laura M. Holson wrote:
Whatever its cause, the snub left Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks SKG, Viacom units that financed the film, scrambling to capitalize on prospects that were suddenly less dazzling. As well as prestige, a best picture nomination is a valuable asset and can give a film like this one—a musical seeking mainstream credibility—an added boost in theaters and on DVDs.
Should “Dreamgirls” have been nominated by the Academy for Best Picture?
I don’t know.
Having spent over 40 years in direct marketing, I think awards based on personal likes and dislikes are irrelevant.
That goes for books, movies and advertising campaigns. Also for sports such as figure skating, gymnastics, diving, synchronized swimming and dog shows.
For example, the highest ratings for a Winter Olympics event is women’s figure skating. In the winter of 1998, Peggy and I went to the CoreStates Center and watched Michelle Kwan win the United States figure skating championship in Philadelphia with eight perfect 6.0s. The crowd left walking on air.
Four years later, the 2002 Olympics brought us “Skate Gate.” The French judge Marie Reine Le Gougne allowed herself to be pressured into voting for a Russian pairs team when the Canadians were clear winners. As a result, a second gold medal was awarded to the Canadian pair, Jamie Sale and David Pelletier. I do not trust the sport—and having seen in person the best in the world—I do not have to see any more.
- United States