erik lundegaard

#OscarsSoWhite Maybe, But #NotAsWhiteAsWGA

After the Screen Actors Guild, I compared and contrasted the SAG awards with the Oscars—mostly to see how accurate SAG was as predictor—and noticed that, in their recent disagreements, SAG tended to choose black actors more often. For what it was worth. 

I did the same for the Writers Guild of America Awards (and for the same reason: Oscar predictor) and noticed the opposite. Here are the only four differences between the WGA and Oscar, in both original and adapted screenplays, during the last 10 years:

Year WGA* Oscar
2013 Captain Phillips 12 Years a Slave
2012 Zero Dark Thirty Django Unchained
2010 Inception The King's Speech
2009 Up in the Air Precious

*The differences in 2013 and 2009 were over adapted screenplay, 2012 and 2010 over original.  

I'm not talking about black and white writers so much, although all of the WGA writers listed are white while the Oscar winners for both “Precious” and “12 Years a Slave” are black. No, I'm talking stories; and whose stories matter. 

2010 is a racial wash. But in 2009, instead of going for the story about the white man who fires people during the global financial meltdown, Oscar went for the story about the almost unbearable sadness of a black girl with an abusive mother in Harlem in the 1980s. In 2012, instead of the story about the search for Osama bin Laden, Oscar went for the revenge flick with the black hero and the white villain set in the Old West. And in 2013, the story with the white hero and the African pirates was thrown overboard in favor of a story about a black hero and his white tormentors in the 1840s. 

Now you could argue that the Academy, which tends toward the aged, simply likes stories set in the past while the WGA prefers more modern stories. And for what it's worth, I prefer most of the movies on the WGA side. I still found it interesting, given the amount of the shit the Academy received earlier this year on racial matters. 

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Posted at 05:08 PM on Mon. Feb 16, 2015 in category Movies - Awards  

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