Monday, March 20, 2006

Spike Lee On George Clooney's Oscar Statement


Director SPIKE LEE has criticised GEORGE CLOONEY for highlighting GONE WITH THE WIND actress HATTIE McDANIEL's 1940 Oscar triumph as an example of Hollywood's "forward-thinking".
While accepting his Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor earlier this month (05MAR06), Clooney fired back at critics who claim Hollywood is out of touch by citing McDaniel's win.
Lee says, "To use that as an example of how progressive Hollywood is is ridiculous. Hattie McDaniel played MAMMY in Gone With the Wind.
"That film was basically saying that the wrong side won the Civil War and that black people should still be enslaved.
"C'mon! I like George a lot. I'm not hating on him. But I don't think he really thought it out.
"How many years was it between Hattie McDaniel and HALLE BERRY (winning an acting Oscar)? Sixty-some-odd? C'mon!"
RENEGADE EYE

9 comments:

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

As always, Spike hits the nail on the head, still so much work to be done.

mw said...

I'm a great fan of George Clooney and I think he meant well, but the speech was an icky moment for me. I got it but I also didn't, and the 'didn't' part stayed much longer with me. I was like, 'should we be grateful now?'

Unlike Spike Lee however, I don't think Hattie McDaniel's Oscar for Gone With The Wind is undermined by the fact that she played a Marmie. The fact is that Marmies did [and still do, in a way!] exist and as I see it, McDaniel played her character well and deserved her Oscar. I've always read a lot into her telling Vivien Leigh's Scarlett O'Hara: "You have the manners of a field hand!"

That the Academy felt 'benevolent' enough to recognise her achievement is no reason for back-slapping on the part of Hollywood.

Somehow, I just knew Spike Lee would have something to say about it. I'm glad there are some hardened folk we can depend on not to mince words.. even when it's a well-loved personality like Clooney.

I still have a lot of time for the astonishing Clooney [who'd have thought of Syrianna & Goodnight... judging from his 'sexiest man alive' days?] and I pray his 'heart' goes on...

Edie said...

Oh please. What about the liberal Hollywood that capitulated to McCarthy era witch-hunts? Clooney is just disoriented and unfortunately much less radicalized than the characters he plays.

Edie said...

Moreover, given the obvious disorientation of Clooney, it is doubly apparent by the criticism you posted that Spike Lee is completely dizzy. He is not a spokesperson for African-Americans, but rather one of a select few African-Americans among the privileged wealthy elite. Let's keep this in class context so that the whole argument reveals itself as trifling, petty, and ridiculous.

sonia said...

Welcome to the dangerous undercurrents of the leftist politically-correct orthodoxy. Diverge one iota from Spike's Politburo dictates and you are condemned without appeal...

Everything is relative. "Gone With The Wind" was a tremendous progress for Hollywood over "Birth of a Nation" only 25 yars earlier. And "Roots" was progress over "Gone with the Wind"....

Renegade Eye said...

George Clooney Neocon?


See: http://www.cantonrep.com/index.php?ID=275553

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Sonia: you're funny because you managed to fit a few neo-con myths into one comment: PC, politburo and relative progression.

Shit, following that logic the blacks should be grateful we don't hang their asses anymore...

RC said...

spike lee certainly has a point!

60 years is a long time.

--RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com

latour said...

I don't get the whole "liberal Hollywood" thing. To me, it is just bitter partisan games played by the right. There is an underlying problem, though, that they have just barely grazed, which is that not everyone has an equal voice in society; for some reason it's easier for Tom Cruise, George Clooney and Toby Keith to get media attention and get on the news than it is for me or you. And if that is what we are worried about, perhaps we shouldn't be focusing on the latest celebrity rants, keeping score to see if Hollywood is liberal or conservative, and using it for petty partisan purposes and focus on getting large corporations who have FAR more influence on debate and policy in the government out of our government. Yet strangely I can't find a lot of right wingers saying that the drug companies have too much control over politics, it's all how "liberal Hollywood is running our lives," when these corporations who make massive campaign contributions and have more control over policy than Clooney ever will who are playing puppetmaster.