On the night of the Oscars, I didn’t bother watching any of it, despite the fact that I probably would’ve been happy enough to see Parasite clean up the awards for Best original screenplay, director and international film. But there was no way I figured it was actually going to win Best Picture, because Hollywood is Hollywhite, and I would have bet money that the award was going to go to like The Irishman or Marriage Story instead.
So color me surprised, when settling into bed, I looked at my phone to look at the news before turning in, and seeing that Parasite actually did the improbable, and won Best Picture.
Suck it, whitey.
However, after the initial pleasure of Parasite’s victory wound down, I naturally began thinking skeptically about the whole thing, and wondered what agenda there could be to awarding the most prestigious award in film to Parasite. Naturally, the number one agenda is Hollywood taking a stab at trying to debunk the notion that they’re Hollywhite, and actually giving a major award to some colored folks; among the film industries in non-white cultures, Korea and India stand out, so perhaps giving the nod to a Korean film is the lesser of available evils, since us Orientals are widely accepted in white people-land while Indians are kind of brown and white people hate brown people.
Passive-ironically, I like to believe Hollywhite is tired of all the endless bitching from critics, pundits and SJWs about how white-washey they are, so they’re conducting something of a social experiment where they finally gave Best Picture to a foreign film, to see if the talking heads will shut the fuck up. The ball is kind of in the court of the talking heads to see if they’ll now bitch about there not being enough black representation, or transgendered performers or any other maligned demographic, but then the narrative becomes that the masses just want something to complain about, but white-washing can’t necessarily be one of those things anymore.
Any minority demographic that complains about Parasite winning now becomes a bad guy, because it proves they don’t really care about diversity as much as they care about their own cherry-picked demographics getting recognition.
But more than anything, I do feel that there was probably some white guilt impetus to giving Parasite the award, because regardless of the fact that Parasite was in fact an excellent film, I have a hard time believing Hollywhite would have actually given it to them over media darlings Robert DeNiro or Adam Driver/Scarlett Johansson without some feeling some pressure. And like I said, (east) Asians are probably the most widely accepted minorities in America generally, and if there ever was a more convenient time to give up Best Picture to some foreigners, this was it.
Because if there a black film directed by a black woman going up against this year’s field, they would’ve jobbed to 1917 or Joker in two seconds. But not Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, because Quentin Tarantino seems to be pretty reviled by most Academy stooges in general.
Regardless of the circumstances or perceived narratives, I’m still happy for Bong Joon-ho, for making history, and thrilled for Korean cinema, in getting some respect from the mainstream. Korea has a robust and massively talented film industry, and it genuinely makes me happy to see that they’re finally getting some respect from the white people that aren’t scared of subtitles.