With the 2019 Oscars on the horizon, it’s time to discuss a shameful bias which persists in the film industry. To illustrate the point, the Oscars have been running since 1929 and in that entire time, there has been only one. Yes, you read that correctly – “One!”. Worthy talents have been overlooked time after time and it’s high time for a shift in thinking. And I’m not just talking about the cantankerous blow-hards in bowties bestowed with dolling out official recognition. We the public are as much to blame as anyone.
Is that aforementioned one and only winner shown in primary schools across the world, appreciated for the beacon of change it should be? No! It is not even screened during organised afterschool movie nights. In fact in Western countries, Primary schoolers are not even allowed to see it!
There is a glass ceiling of public opinion constructed through a lens of prejudice, neatly illustrated by aggregator sites such as IMDB. That prejudice has a number and that number is “6”. That’s right, 6 out of 10 stars. Genre bias is a real phenomenon.
I’m talking about Horror. And that one and only victory for truth and justice was in 1992. It was called Silence of the Lambs. Twenty-seven years of darkness have followed and there is no light in sight. There are no Best Picture nominations for 2019. No recognition for the creative minds behind the likes of Mandy, Hereditary, Annihilation, A Quiet Place or Possum.
Perhaps the reason for the bias is simple. Maybe we shouldn’t expect a reasonable response to an art form which explores the very thing we despise within ourselves. “Fear”.
Note – Yes. Female directors should be given more recognition too.