Anonymous Oscar votes unmask the Academy

Anonymous Oscar votes unmask the Academy

Oscar Statue
Photo: Rodin Eckenroth (Getty Images)

Voting closed for Oscars 2023 earlier this week, and now ahead of the ceremony on Sunday, March 12, entertainment media can indulge in one of their favorite pastimes: anonymity. Voting at the Oscars. This secular tradition has been brought back by several outlets, including The Hollywood Reporter, IndieWireAnd GoldDerby.

The obvious utility of anonymous voting is that it elucidates the reasoning behind Academy member choices. For example, the member of the short films and animated features directorate identifies both Michelle Yeo and Angela Bassett as “overdue” for a win in her ballot for THR. Similarly, the costume designer who shared his ballot with IndieWire favored women who talk “because he is less fortunate than LIBRARY” and the costumes for Everything everywhere all at once on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever because “Ruth Carter is a genius, but she has already won. I wish someone else would try.

But the real appeal of anonymous voting is the chatter that happens behind the scenes, and there’s no bigger chatterbox on the anonymous voting scene this year than “The Actor” by Weekly entertainmentround table of voters. Male performer of ‘critically heralded prestige dramas, biting mainstream thrillers and Emmy-winning TV shows’, this voter is using his anonymity to denounce ‘revival’ and berate the team behind The female king, a film he has not seen: “Viola Davis and the director must sit down, shut up and relax. You didn’t get a nomination, a lot of movies don’t get nominations.

Not all of the revelations from these anonymous polls are so inflammatory (“When you dig a little deeper, sometimes the stories aren’t necessarily the stories you see at every award show,” says The Marketer, which claims “a lot of people” they spoke to at the Academy screenings “didn’t care about” LIBRARY). But it’s the undercurrent of racism in the actor’s remarks that seem most telling about the Academy. Even though the institution has made a show of branching out over the past few years, nominations are still heavily biased towards whites and men, with no black performers in major categories such as lead actor/actress, directing, cinematography, etc. If youAppointments reflect the perspective of the institution, the institution receives an (anonymous) voice in The Actor. “The Academy has bent over backwards to be inclusive,” he complains. “Last year there were more black people presenting.”

Racial diversity is not the only problem to be solved. I had the impression that people were doing everything possible to exclude [women]because inclusion is difficult and they are tired”, observes the director at EO about the Best Director category. “The Academy still has a lot of work to do with its members to make it more representative…it felt deliberately exclusive.” This, perhaps, is at the heart of the Academy’s problem. It’s much easier for the producers of a single ceremony to have more black presenters on stage than to do the hard work of rooting out the racism and misogyny buried within the institution. Could the actor’s views on the subject of diversity really be pervasive among Hollywood’s old guard? The comments may be anonymous, but they nevertheless reveal something ugly about the Academy.

Leave a Comment