Oscars’ Orwellian diversity quota throws out merit: Devine

There go the Oscars.

Forget merit, now filmmakers will have to subject their art to Orwellian tests of identitarian purity if it is to be eligible for a Best Picture award.

In the latest act of craven capitulation to the BLM-Antifa mob, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decreed Tuesday that no movie can win the top award unless it satisfies a set of ­genetically and sexually diverse ­quotas.

For example, lead actors must be from an “underrepresented racial or ethnic group . . . Asian, Latinx, Black, Native American, Middle Eastern, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.”

At least 30 percent of the rest of the cast otherwise must be chosen from at least two of the following victim identities: women, underrepresented racial or ethnic group, “LGBTQ+” and the disabled.

Or the Academy gets to dictate the content of the movie so that the “main storyline, theme or narrative of the film” must satisfy the same intersectionality requirements on gender, race, sexuality and disability.

And that is just Standard A, one of four labyrinthine prescriptions for creating Academy-sanctioned art.

They all read like satire. You have to pinch yourself to make sure you’re not having some dystopian dream.

Even to be considered for a Best Picture Oscar, a movie must ­satisfy two of the four required standards.

Standard B demands “at least two” creative leadership positions, such as director, producer, writer or cinematographer, must come from a designated victim-identity category, with at least one from a favored racial or ethnic group. Otherwise, at least 30 percent of the film crew must satisfy the same politically correct criteria.

Standard C requires “substantive” paid internships and apprenticeships in most departments solely for people from designated victim categories.

Standard D reaches its tentacles into marketing, publicity and distribution that also are required to be genetically and sexually ­diverse.

White, heterosexual cis-gendered (as in, haven’t changed sex) males need not apply. Or, at least, not without the filmmaker paying hefty indulgences to the Church of Woke.

This is enforced self-censorship, as destructive of creativity and free thought as the Stalinist ­dictates of any communist dictatorship.

It’s not surprising that it comes from industry insiders who mandated “unconscious bias” anti-racist training in June for all Academy governors and staff, a mass indoctrination that would rot even the most independent mind.

The press release summarizing the Academy’s new strictures, to take effect beginning in 2024, required 1,000 words to explain. Not one word about artistic quality or, God forbid, ideological diversity.

Imagine layering these tyrannical dictates atop the already wickedly challenging task of finding and financing a worthwhile project that will find a sufficiently large audience to make a profit.

Moviemaking is fickle in the best of times. During the pandemic, revenues have collapsed and the logistics of getting back up and running are daunting. Now Hollywood is volunteering to shoot itself in the foot while it’s on its knees.

Tellingly, there has been little complaint about the Academy edict from the embattled community of film artists who can’t afford to be blacklisted if they object.

“Cheers” star Kirstie Alley was one of the few brave enough to tell the truth, tweeting that the new rules were “dictatorial [and] anti-artist.”

“Can you imagine telling Picasso what had to be in his f–king paintings. You people have lost your minds. Control artists, control individual thought . . .


Of course, she immediately was labeled “racist” and caught so much abuse that she deleted the tweet and mouthed the required platitudes about “diversity inclusion & tolerance.”

Artists are supposed to be subversive, not fall into line with a prescribed utopian fantasy dreamed up under pressure to appease radicals such as the Marxist, anti-nuclear family, Black Lives Matter organization that has been terrorizing the nation for more than three months.

BLM co-founder and self-described “trained Marxist” Patrisse Cullors last month demanded that Hollywood go on strike to in support of her anti-police agenda: “It’s time for talent, writers, executives, the guild and SAG to show up for Black lives.”

The Academy, Hollywood’s prime mechanism for social conformity, recognized the threat. But appeasement never works. All that happens is the demands become more extreme. Just wait for the next round of “guidelines.” How much pain can you take?

According to the “Get Woke, Go Broke” thesis, the movies that emerge from this new system will be stultifying awful and tank at the box office.

How many award-winning movies of the past would not pass muster: “1917,” “The Godfather,” “Casablanca,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Unforgiven,” “Schindler’s List,” “Braveheart,” “Gladiator,” “American Sniper,” “The Departed,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “The Sound of Music” . . . you name it. Definitely not “Gone With The Wind.” We know that already.

Movies are America’s primary cultural product, colonizing minds around the world for almost a ­century. Corrosive agitprop won’t cut it.

In any case, no one takes Hollywood’s moral posturing seriously, when it has sold its soul to the Chinese Communist Party, the most repressively racist regime on the planet.

What was with Disney’s closing credits for Mulan last week, with its “special thanks” to a “public security bureau” in Xinjiang, where 1 million Uighurs are in concentration camps?

Really? As professor Jordan Peterson used to say, clean up your own room first.

An irrational ‘Rage’ at Don

The Washington Post has selectively weaponized Bob Woodward’s new book, “Rage,” against the president, to blame him for the pandemic, along Joe Biden-campaign attack lines.

The charge is that Trump told Woodward that he knew in early February, before the first American coronavirus death, that the disease was dangerous, but decided to “play it down.” Cue the White House press corps demanding to know why Trump “lied” to the American people by saying the virus was “under control.”

Trump’s response is reasonable.

“The last thing you want to do is create panic in the country,” he told reporters yesterday. “A terrible situation [was] foisted on us . . .The last thing we can show is panic or excitement or fear. We had to take care of the situation.”

He was taking action at the time. Against the protests of the World Health Organization, and the advice of White House experts, he issued the crucial order Jan. 31 to close the border to “a very heavily infected China,” and place US citizens returning from Hubei province into mandatory quarantine.

Biden accused Trump of “xenophobia.”

It’s easy to be a Monday-morning quarterback, but if Democrats insist on politicizing the pandemic, two can play that game.

For instance, instead of closing down the subway, Bill DeBlasio in March was still urging people to come into the city. “For the vast majority of New Yorkers, life is going on pretty normally right now,” he said March 10, the day of the first confirmed coronavirus death. “We want to encourage that.”

Nancy Pelosi did the same in San Francisco’s Chinatown on Feb. 24, urging people to “Come . . . everything is fine here.” It was performance art to spite Trump and portray Trump as a racist for the travel ban and use of the term “Chinese virus.”

Gov. Cuomo was the worst. “Excuse our arrogance as New Yorkers . . . we don’t even think it’s going to be as bad as it was in other countries,” he said March 2.

Three weeks later, he issued his callous directive to force nursing homes to admit COVID-infected patients, resulting in the death of thousands. New York has the highest COVID death toll in America — more than 33,000 — as a result.

Now “granny killer” Cuomo is trying to blame Trump. But no one buys it.

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