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The Academy May Not Like It, But Politics Might Star at the Oscars

时间:2018-03-03 18:21来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]


If any of this year’s Oscar winners use their acceptance speech to push a political cause, you can thank — or blame — Marlon Brando.

The actor’s performance as Vito Corleone in the 1972 film The Godfather is widely celebrated1. But his action connected to the 1973 Academy Awards ceremony marked a change in Oscar behavior.

Traditionally, Oscar winners had accepted their awards with speeches of thanks to the Academy and the industry.

But Brando was different. He did not even attend the ceremony. He sent actor Sacheen Littlefeather in his place. She spoke2 in protest of Hollywood’s treatment of the country’s Native peoples.

In the years since, Oscar winners have brought up everything from climate change to war to equal pay for women.

“Speeches for a long time were relatively3 quiet in part because of the control of the studio system,” says James Piazza4. He wrote the 2002 book, The Academy Awards: The Complete History of Oscar, along with Gail Kinn.

He said, “There had been some controversy5, like when George C. Scott refused his Oscar for Patton (which came out in 1970). But Brando’s speech really broke the mold.”

Producers for this year’s Oscars show have said they want the ceremony to center on the movies themselves. However, political speeches seem likely. The #MeToo movement, protesting sexual abuse, played a big part at the Golden Globe awards in January. Globe winner Reese Witherspoon thanked “everyone who broke their silence this year.”

Honorary Globe winner Oprah Winfrey also spoke about the issue in a speech that led some to suggest she run for president.

Before Brando, award winners avoided issue-centered speeches, even if the issues were linked to the movie. For example, Gregory Peck won the Oscar for best actor in 1963 for his performance in To Kill a Mockingbird. But in Peck’s acceptance speech, he said nothing about the film’s racial theme, even though he spoke often about it to the press.

And in 1964, when Sidney Poitier became the first black to win best actor, he did not comment on the historic nature of his win.

Even actor Jane Fonda, one of Hollywood’s most famous anti-war activists6, simply gave thanks for her Oscar in 1972.

“There’s a great deal to say, but I’m not going to say it tonight,” she stated. “I would just like to say thank you very much.”

Political movements from anti-communism to civil rights were mostly ignored during Oscar ceremonies in their time.

Although Hollywood is thought of as politically liberal, the Academy generally disapproves7 of political speeches. Actor Vanessa Redgrave was booed for a political comment she made in her Oscar speech in 1978.

At the 2003 Academy Awards, filmmaker Michael Moore was also not received entirely8 kindly9 by the audience. He had won the Oscar for his documentary film on guns, Bowling10 for Columbine.The crowd first cheered and stood for the filmmaker. But they booed when Moore began to speak against then-President George W. Bush and his Iraq policy.

The Academy has a sense of humor, however. In 1994, Oscars performer Whoopi Goldberg used her opening jokes to persuade stars against talking about issues.

“Save the whales,” she said. “Save the spotted12 owl11. Gay rights. Men’s rights. Women’s rights. Human rights. Feed the homeless. More gun control. Free the Chinese dissidents. Peace in Bosnia. Health care reform. Choose choice. ACT UP. More AIDS research.”

She got it all out of the way at the start of the show. The audience laughed and cheered.

I’m Caty Weaver13.

Words in This Story

studio – n. a company that makes movies

controversy – n. argument that involves many people who strongly disagree about something: strong disagreement about something among a large group of people

mold – n. a usual or typical example of something: a pattern or type of something that is an example to be followed

theme – n. the main subject that is being discussed or described in a piece of writing, a movie, etc.

boo – v. a sound that people make to show they do not like or approve of someone or something

audience – n. a group of people who gather together to listen to something (such as a concert) or watch something (such as a movie or play): the people who attend a performance


1 celebrated iwLzpz     
  • He was soon one of the most celebrated young painters in England.不久他就成了英格兰最负盛名的年轻画家之一。
  • The celebrated violinist was mobbed by the audience.观众团团围住了这位著名的小提琴演奏家。
2 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
3 relatively bkqzS3     
  • The rabbit is a relatively recent introduction in Australia.兔子是相对较新引入澳大利亚的物种。
  • The operation was relatively painless.手术相对来说不痛。
4 piazza UNVx1     
  • Siena's main piazza was one of the sights of Italy.锡耶纳的主要广场是意大利的名胜之一。
  • They walked out of the cafeteria,and across the piazzadj.他们走出自助餐厅,穿过广场。
5 controversy 6Z9y0     
  • That is a fact beyond controversy.那是一个无可争论的事实。
  • We ran the risk of becoming the butt of every controversy.我们要冒使自己在所有的纷争中都成为众矢之的的风险。
6 activists 90fd83cc3f53a40df93866d9c91bcca4     
n.(政治活动的)积极分子,活动家( activist的名词复数 )
  • His research work was attacked by animal rights activists . 他的研究受到了动物权益维护者的抨击。
  • Party activists with lower middle class pedigrees are numerous. 党的激进分子中有很多出身于中产阶级下层。 来自《简明英汉词典》
7 disapproves 2409ec34a905c5a568c1e2e81c7efcdc     
v.不赞成( disapprove的第三人称单数 )
  • She disapproves of unmarried couples living together. 她反对未婚男女同居。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Her mother disapproves of her wearing transparent underwear. 她母亲不赞成她穿透明的内衣。 来自辞典例句
8 entirely entirely     
  • The fire was entirely caused by their neglect of duty. 那场火灾完全是由于他们失职而引起的。
  • His life was entirely given up to the educational work. 他的一生统统献给了教育工作。
9 kindly tpUzhQ     
  • Her neighbours spoke of her as kindly and hospitable.她的邻居都说她和蔼可亲、热情好客。
  • A shadow passed over the kindly face of the old woman.一道阴影掠过老太太慈祥的面孔。
10 bowling cxjzeN     
  • Bowling is a popular sport with young and old.保龄球是老少都爱的运动。
  • Which sport do you 1ike most,golf or bowling?你最喜欢什么运动,高尔夫还是保龄球?
11 owl 7KFxk     
  • Her new glasses make her look like an owl.她的新眼镜让她看上去像只猫头鹰。
  • I'm a night owl and seldom go to bed until after midnight.我睡得很晚,经常半夜后才睡觉。
12 spotted 7FEyj     
  • The milkman selected the spotted cows,from among a herd of two hundred.牛奶商从一群200头牛中选出有斑点的牛。
  • Sam's shop stocks short spotted socks.山姆的商店屯积了有斑点的短袜。
13 weaver LgWwd     
  • She was a fast weaver and the cloth was very good.她织布织得很快,而且布的质量很好。
  • The eager weaver did not notice my confusion.热心的纺织工人没有注意到我的狼狈相。
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