Popular Film Category Won’t Solve Oscars Corruption

It is one of the worst kept secrets in Hollywood that there is massive corruption in award shows.

By Sean D. Hartman

During the 2016 Presidential Election, Donald Trump (R-NY) made “draining the swamp” a priority for his campaign. The swamp became a derogatory term for the Establishment, the elites who hold political power. When we think of the DC swamp, we think of wealthy special interests bribing politicians to vote for their interests over that of their constituents. But there is an entirely different swamp, far away from DC, all the way in Hollywood. And where the DC swamp has Congress, the Hollywood swamp has the Oscars.

It is one of the worst kept secrets in Hollywood that there is massive corruption in award shows. Denzel Washington famously joked about the tactics used to “win” his Best Actor award during the Golden Globes.

And it is truly corrupt.

For those who are unaware, the Oscar winners are selected by a group known as the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science, a literal oligarchy of the most prominent, judging everyone else. The Academy is noted to have a very skewed demographic, with the majority being old, white men.

This had been a key argument during the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, but it had been buried under the rug with the wise powers that be giving minor concessions to silence the masses.

Such is the way of the oligarchy, granting small freedoms in exchange for their larger control.

Most of the members of the Academy never watch the films nominated. Few will critique based on any notable metric, and even if they do, it is likely with a barometer of personal bias.

The sad truth is, the films you see winning Best Picture, the directors winning Best Director, the actors and actresses winning their respective awards—all of it is all purchased and pre-packaged by studio executives long before the winner is declared.

To be officially nominated, studio executives would put in a “For Your Consideration” to the Academy. And then the jockeying begins, utilizing all forms of bribery and backroom deals that would make the most corrupt politician seem like a saint.

Famous actors are particularly utilized, serving as quasi-prostitutes, schmoozing with the Academy to sell them their win. The actor is not a person in this case, but a commodity. It would not surprise me that several MeToo situations occurred for the sake of an award.

The Academy’s bias and corruption continues to be a known secret in Hollywood and for anyone in the public who dares to look.  But no one does, because the Academy continues to make overtures to misdirect you.

Their most recent magic trick is the illusion of a Popular Film category, which is meant to be another illusion to seem less elitist.  Like with #OscarsSoWhite, when the Academy made a conceited, almost strategic effort, to ensure black-centric films and black actors were emphasized, this too is another strategic misdirect. The issue is not the diversity. The issue is those in power.


Sean David Hartman is a reporter for the Central Florida Post, covering entertainment and public affairs. He describes himself as a “Professional Political Nuisance” and goes after politicians on both sides. Hartman is an autism rights activist, and #ProudlyAutistic.