Screenwriter and novelist Bret Easton Ellis is the latest to throw shade at Black Panthers Academy Award nomination for Best.
Screenwriter and novelist Bret Easton Ellis is the latest to throw shade at Black Panthers Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.
According to The Wrap, the American Psycho scribe took to his podcast prior to the nominations announcement to describe Black Panther as “not that good” with an agenda-driven awards push pandering to diversity.
This is just the moment were trapped in, says Ellis. A joke, a hoax. Its all fake news, folks.
Ellis is far from the first to make such nauseating comments. I hear whining about Black Panthers nomination in person and see it all over Twitter and comment boards.
They take more issue with Black Panthers nomination over the nods for Bohemian Rhapsody, a scrapped together Freddie Mercury biopic that keeps burying its head in the sand, steering clear from the multiple rape accusations against director Bryan Singer.
As far Ive seen, the dismissals come from two camps. There are those opposed to a superhero movie competing for the industrys top prize, as if it is somehow a lesser product than a musical that has been remade for the third time (A Star Is Born) or yet another story about a white hero learning to appreciate Black people (Green Book).
And then there are the superhero movie fans, who seem hurt that Black Panther succeeded where movies like The Dark Knight or Logan failed. The Dark Knight was competing when there were only five slots for Best Picture. Times have changed. And Logan… well it’s not good.
That all these complaints are coming from white people is par for the course. Keep whining. Yall are just telling on yourselves, displaying a refusal to acknowledge the cultural vibrancy and artistry in Black Panther that made it soar above and beyond just another comic book movie.
Sure, Black Panther has a weak Marvel whizz-bang climax. But no other superhero movie tackles Black oppression with a narrative that uses Afrofuturism to grapple with intergenerational trauma and inherited guilt. No other big-budget spectacle gave me bumping hip-hop beats. And no other comic book movie has reduced me to mush the way that scene between Michael B. Jordan and Sterling K. Brown does.
If I had to choose between this years Best Picture nominees, I would vote for Black Panther (especially since my favourite movies failed to land nominations).
This is all a matter of taste and perspective of course, and everyone has a right to their own opinion. I can see why the aesthetics and themes that stood out in Black Panther won’t mean much to what Kristopher Tapley describes in Variety as “an overriding industry demographic prone to viewing it as mere entertainment.”
But the repeated insistence on calling the love for Black Panther and its subsequent nominations suspect or agenda-driven is more insidious than that. These dismissals reinforce a belief that award-worthy movies must look a certain way: defined by the past and defined by the majority.
Why pick on this movie more than Vice, The Blind Side, District 9, The Help or Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close? What makes The Shape of Water, in which a fucking a fish-man is a metaphor for discrimination, more worthy than a comic book movie that tackles hard and specific truths within a fantasy? What makes Black Panthers success at the Oscars so threatening?
We can guess the answers. Look no further than Bret Easton Ellis. The last time he made a highly publicized stink about a movies Oscar success (The Hurt Locker) was because a woman directed it.