Talent doesn’t win an Award, money does

Posted on March 2, 2018 by in Op-Ed

Leslie Figueroa

Chronicle Reporter

The Oscars are near us! The high time of glitter and gold and festivities celebrating our best actors, filmmakers and the lot. The very pinnacle of quality movies. We’d like to believe that Award Ceremonies such as the Oscars are how tastemakers honor important cinematic arts. That these awards are determined by objective voters that weigh the artistic merits of each individual work. The unfortunate truth, however, stands to be that our favorite filmmakers and actors are not the actual nominees of the shows, rather money seems to be seated in their place. While it is is most undoubtedly true that Money cannot act, it can make voters act differently. What happens is that studios and networks give heaps of money and incentives into what the industry calls, “For Your Consideration Campaigns” I’m sure we have all seen them around on billboards and the like, but do we really know what they are truly for? For Your Consideration Campaigns are hyper-specific marketing methods that are aimed solely at award voters. It’s not really bribery, but they are close enough to it that it may as well be bribery. These come in the forms of paying for the Voters to go and watch the movies for free and throwing them lavish parties for them to meet celebrities. The ads as mentioned before are also painted and plastered all over the streets of L.A.

  And while this is such a common open secret, the Golden Globes are by far the worst offenders. The only people who actually get to vote in the Golden Globes are the 87 members of Hollywood Foreign Press. The only problem is that this list of people are so well known, virtually all of Hollywood knows who are the voters and thus campaign to them personally. In a particularly interesting source Slate, Jan.13,2012, they state, “They nominated Sharon Stone in The Muse after her representative plied them with 84 gold watches.” Well obviously then, Sharon Stone got the nomination! This is such an open secret that even Denzel Washington openly jokes about it in his acceptance speech in 2016 Golden Globes.” Freddy Fields. Some of you may know Freddy Fields, he invited me to the first Hollywood Foreign Press luncheon,” Washington told the crowd. “He said, ‘They’re gonna watch the movie, we’re gonna feed them, they’re gonna come over, you’re gonna take pictures with everybody, you’re gonna hold the magazines, take the pictures, and you’re gonna win the award.’ I won that year.”

To win an Oscar studio may have to spend around $10 million dollars. The bottom line is that to make money one has to spend money. An Oscar nomination can increase your box revenue, and getting an award can make even more. Quality does have something to do with awards ceremonies, as the ones nominated are usually good but to win an award one have to be able to part with a couple of Franklins.

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