The Oscars: Bravo for Survivor Recognition

Firstly, lo siento, my bad – I did not write last week, but you’re going to get a bonus post later this week about procrastination because I ❤ me some irony and you deserve more tasty words.

Let’s talk Oscars.

I’d like to say that I am not jaded enough – yet – to actively dislike the Oscars. Watching award shows in the field of TV and Film always rejuvenates my drive, and makes me feel all gooey and sentimental. (If I am ever to win anything on any level I assure you I will melt into a big sloppy puddle and sob through a nothing speech). Oddly enough, enjoying the Oscars so much feels like a guilty pleasure these days.

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Pic from the Oscars shindig I attended. I dare you to tell me this isn’t adorable.

I understand that we’ve got some work to do, but in the words of Kevin Hart “positive overall beats negative,” (yeah, thats a bit out of context, but I think he’d agree with me on what I’ve got to say here). Regardless of whatever feelings you may be harboring – whether you hold dismal opinions regarding the usual vanillaness of the annual formal Hollywood circle-jerk, or disdain for the lack of diversity represented – the Oscars did one thing right this year, which rippled into several lovely moments throughout, so I would like to say….

Bravo to the Oscars for recognizing survivors of rape and sexual assault.

Bravo to Joe Biden for addressing the profound issue of sexual assault on college campuses and for inviting the world to “take the pledge, the pledge that says I will intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given. We must and we can change the culture so that no abused woman or man ever feel they have to ask themselves what did I do? They did nothing wrong.”

Bravo to Lady Gaga for an important personal performance about her own assault through her song “Til It Happens to You.

Bravo to the group of survivors – both men and women – and their bravery to step on stage.

Bravo to the creators of the The Hunting Ground for highlighting stories of campus rape.

Bravo to Spotlight for giving survivors of Catholic priest molestation, rape, and abuse a voice, as well as holding the Catholic Church accountable. In the words of producer Michael Sugar, “This film gave a voice to survivors, and this Oscar amplifies that voice, which we hope can become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican.” As a member of the Catholic Church, I am profoundly grateful for these filmmakers.

Bravo to the Academy for declaring Spotlight best screenplay AND best picture.

Bravo to the creators Mad Max for telling the story of sex slaves’ escape. Remember the entire crazy post-apocalyptic, car chase, desert battle (aka the ENTIRE movie)? Yeah, that was about getting some kick-ass sex slave survivors to safety.

Bravo to the creators of Room for telling the story of an abductee and her son in captivity, and their journey of strength, escape, and the aftermath that is rarely addressed.

Bravo (here’s a plug that doesn’t get enough attention) to the FABULOUS screenwriters who conceived or adapted these tales of survivors. Both these screenwriters and characters are heroes – heroes that are finally starting to get a voice.

Sunday night I was proud to be working in this industry. Despite the clear issues we have to conquer, it is so gratifying knowing that there are so many members working for change. I really wanted to list all of these positives because out of all the topics in the whole entire world three films nominated for best picture (Spotlight, Room, Mad Max) told stories of SURVIVORS, and one of them WON best picture! I really think this speaks volumes. This speaks to progress and recognition.

Like I said, despite all of the hoopla going around, I always get especially nostalgic when I watch award shows like this. They remind me of the friends and people I’ve worked for, and I do my best to set my critical eye aside for a few moments and recognize the greatness. I have the smallest of tastes of what it takes to work on a team that could make something so profoundly wonderful, impactful, and engaging. The Oscars to me are a giant love fest, a giant love fest where it’s not easy to turn a blind eye because you have a room filled with the most liberal, talented, hardworking, dedicated, loving, and passionate people on the planet. This is a room filled with artists for change. I do not want to fault them for their efforts. So knowing that good will prevail over evil, here I am to keep it positive.

I’d like to leave you with this message echoed throughout the shinny Oscars evening:

Do not be a bystander. Be a witness. Everyone is responsible to take action to prevent rape and abuse.

(You betcha there’s gonna be a nice long post at some point about all the how not to be a total dingus and be a responsible human person when it comes to this stuff).

Anywho, thanks for reading. I’d LUV to hear your thoughts. If there are any Oscar moments that I’ve missed or you’d like to chat about, please comment below – let’s talk about it!

xoxo

Anna

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