I wasn’t planning on watching the Oscars last week because I expected that some Hollywood stars would take the opportunity to attack U.S. President Trump on stage.
I’m tired of their never-ending attacks, especially from some of Hollywood’s so-called elite. Yet out of curiosity, I turned on the TV. While I thought that I had already prepared myself, I was still very surprised to find out that the Academy Awards and its host, Jimmy Kimmel, turned the night into a total anti-Trump assembly. It was a night where the Academy ripped off its last layer of camouflage.
Twenty-four years ago during another Oscar awards ceremony, actor Richard Gere called on the Chinese Communist Party to stop human rights violations, especially in the Tibetan region.
Watch what Gere said in this Oscars’ video:
Or read what he said here that was not scripted for the award’s night:
To my friends, I want to say hello up in Vancouver — right now we are doing Intersection up there. Hi, guys. I’ll see you later tonight. I had a thought about something, actually, before I came out. I want to share it with you. It’s going to be short. I was really struck by this idea that there were one billion people watching this thing. It’s astonishing — one billion people watching. And I was curious about what countries this was actually going to. And it is in fact being seen in China right now. And the first thought that came to me was, I wondered if Deng Xiaoping is actually watching this right now, with his children and his grandchildren, and with the knowledge that — that — that — what a horrendous, horrendous human rights situation there is in China, not only towards their own people but to Tibet as well. And when it was this kind of…if something miraculous, really kind of movielike, could happen here, where we could all kind of send love and truth and a kind of sanity to Deng Xiaoping right now in Beijing, that he will take his troops and take the Chinese away from Tibet and allow people to live as free independent people again. So, thought… We send this thought — we send this thought out. Send this thought. Anyhow…
Gere’s remarks angered the Academy. They even issued a public statement afterwards criticizing his remarks, citing that the Academy Awards ceremony is an art event that should not involve political topics.
In fact the Academy banned Gere for 20 years for his statement.
At the time, the Hollywood establishment kept silent and no one publicly expressed dissatisfaction. It appeared that Hollywood was completely in agreement with the Academy’s position.
But my, how things change, given what occurred at this year’s Oscars. This very institution, which had claimed that the art should not be politicized, adopted a completely different standard where what was once glamorous event became a general assembly to attack Trump.
From the get-go the host, comedian Jimmy Kimmel, laughed at Trump. “This broadcast is being watched live by millions of Americans and around the world in more than 225 countries that now hate us.”
If you missed Kimmel’s Oscar monologue you can watch it here via Jimmy Kimmel Live:
Newsflash. Not all countries around the world hate the United States. Even if they do, they had probably started long before Trump came into power.
In addition to the fact that the show was being watched live by almost a billion people, Kimmel didn’t hesitate to use some extremely disrespectful and off-colored language: “the president of the United States will tweet about in all caps during his 5 a.m. bowel movement tomorrow.”
He even “tweeted” to the president, who may have already fallen asleep, with a ridicule tone: “Hey @realDonaldTrump u up?” In the second tweet, he included Meryl Streep, the Hollywood star who attacked Trump during the Golden Globe Award. This was rude and a bad example to the tens of thousands young people watching the show.
Added to the night of ridiculousness, Kimmel asked the audiences to give Streep a round of applause. As he did this, he used this opportunity to have a jab at Trump’s daughter Ivanka: “Nice dress, by the way. Is that an Ivanka?”
It was juvenile and certainly not funny. The Academy should be ashamed.
Attacking President Trump in such a way was an antithesis to the culture of diversity of the United States. As we all know, Sylvester Stallone, Jon Voight, Clinton Eastwood, along with other Hollywood stars, are strong supporters of Trump.
THANK YOU! @TheSlyStallone 👊
— Lori Hendry (@Lrihendry) February 27, 2017
There must be people among the audience who were not supportive of Kimmel’s diatribe. What Kimmel did showed a lack of respect for those people, and it contradicted America’s spirit of tolerance.
Yet for most people the most memorable thing that occurred on the night was when they messed up the awardee for the best picture. It was a slap in the face for the event and for the host. I wasn’t the only one who thought: “Serves them right.”
But for me, the most intolerable thing that occurred was how the Oscars arranged a statement read on behalf of Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, who won the best foreign language film, to condemn Trump’s immigration policy.
This statement was full of empty rhetoric. It was written by a person from a country with one of the worst human rights records in the world. Apparently, Farhadi would not criticize the dictator in his own country.
An artist, from an authoritarian country who dares not criticize the dictators of his own country, came out to attack an elected leader in a nation that has the full freedom of speech.
What is worthy of praise here? Is it his courage, or is it his conscience? It is a shame to use a person who lives in an authoritarian state and dare not resist the power of dictators to criticize the U.S. president for human rights violations.
— CNN (@CNN) February 27, 2017
Left-wing fake mainstream media treated him as if he was a human rights defender. He should have been praised if his statement did not target the leader of a democratic state, which bears no risk for him, but the dictators of Iran or other countries where human rights have suffered the most.
But he did not do so. It was hypocritical, it was shameless.
Why would the Academy take such different positions toward Richard Gere’s criticism on Deng Xiaoping, who ordered the Tiananmen Massacre, and Kimmel’s repeated attacks on President Trump, who was elected by the American people?
The only reasonable explanation is that China’s huge consumer market, the money, and the profit have led the Oscars to betray its conscience.
Only weeks into Trump’s presidency, elements of Hollywood have ganged up to attack and discredit him. The same mindset banned Richard Gere for 20 years for criticizing Deng Xiaoping, the culprit of the Tiananmen massacre. Twenty years ago, the Academy in “the name of the art” opposed any criticism of a Chinese dictator who slaughtered students and Maintained China’s occupation of Tibet
I am very fond of movies and music. I used to appreciate some Hollywood actors very much. But now after the last Oscars, I am turning Hollywood off.
Baiqiao Tang was a leader of students during China’s 1989 pro-democracy uprising, and is the author of “My Two China” and “Anthems of Defeat.”
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Vision Times.