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The Woke Awards

A Commentary by John Stossel

Oscar nominees were announced this week.

The AP highlighted the record number of nominations of "actors of color" and "a record year for women."

Today, such declarations are important in this "woke" media world.

Future Oscars will have actual quotas for minority groups.

Actor David Oyelowo praised the new standards, saying, "Anyone and everyone who is on that list of marginalized groups that are now going to be represented, are cheering."

No. Not all are cheering.

"Black, white, Asian... none of that should matter," says musician Eric July in my new video.

July, who is Black, complains that quotas cheapen awards. "It's supposed to be based on merit."

When I told him that director Roseanne Liang calls the new rules "one of the bravest and most amazing things that the Academy has done," July responded, "No, it's not. ... It basically turns the award into nothing. They feel sorry for you, so they're going to... give you an award."

I pushed back, that most Oscar voters are older white men. Even when movies starring Black people did well (Samuel L. Jackson is America's highest-grossing actor), award shows gave fewer Oscars to Black performers.

July replies, "The hundred-meter dash top 10... all of them are going to be Black people... it doesn't mean that there is some sort of wrongdoing."
"But what about the legacy of American racism?" I asked.

"Of course, it's a thing -- you can't say that it isn't, but this battle was already fought and won... We went off a cliff to where we're talking as if there's a Klansman behind every single corner, preventing people from being great."

But in Hollywood, such facts matter less than wailing about how oppressed you are.

Patricia Arquette, accepting a supporting actress award, shouted: "It's our time to have wage equality once and for all. And equal rights for women in the United States!"

The Oscar audience stood and cheered.

But American women have equal rights, and there is no wage gap once you factor in job choices. (Men are more eager to work overtime; women more likely to take time off to care for children.)

Politics now rules awards shows. Among the Hollywood crowd, what's moral is pushing for a giant government that passes ever more well-intended rules, no matter how expensive and ineffective the result.

I won 19 Emmys criticizing capitalists. I won zero awards once I started criticizing government.

Today's awards celebrate people who love big intrusive government. Last year, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was given an Emmy for his COVID-19 press conferences. Cuomo accepted the award via Zoom, praising himself for offering "authentic truth," even though he'd lied about the number of people who died because of his policies.

"Don't expect the governor of Florida to get one of those awards," says July.

The Grammy Awards are eager to praise Democrats. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Jimmy Carter all got Grammys for reading their audiobooks. President Carter got a bunch. Democrats were nominated for 19 Grammys since 2000. No Republicans were nominated.

"A lot of these awards just shouldn't even be seen as legitimate on that alone," says July.

Today's award shows aren't about recognizing what's best. They're about pleasing the left.

Maybe that's why ratings have been dropping for years. Viewership for the 2021 Golden Globes was down by 68%. The Grammy Awards fell by 55%.

Perhaps the public is wising up.

John Stossel is author of "Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media." For other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.



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