1 March 2016

If you thought I was confused….

I am not a movie person at all. Far from it. I can count on my fingers how many movies I have seen in the last twenty years. And I am pretty sure, I do not need a second hand for that.

But I have duly noted that there is a lot of energy in Hollywood (and outside – including but not limited to – my Facebook friends) about lack of diversity or worse, discrimination against non-white actors, writers, producers etc in terms of getting nominated for the Oscars. The best I understood of it – in spite of a plethora of non-white talent in just about every category, apparently, this is the second time in succession, no non-white candidate had been nominated.

Seems unfair. Seems something we – white and non-white – should be rightly angry about.

I am no movie buff, but it seems to me that these kind of things should be taken out of the hands of a few people who may knowingly or unknowingly become biased or even worse, corrupt! To start with, should we not avoid letting just a couple of guys decide the nomination? Methinks we should have tens – hundreds – no make that thousands of people who can participate in the nomination.

But the problem is the we cannot let ordinary people decide true talent. That would be like American Idol style text messaging going on to select a winner. Only people who are credible authorities in their field should be allowed to nominate. You know if you are a writer, then you can nominate only writers. But only after you have screen credits from at least two movies. For actors – since I do not think acting is that difficult 🙂 – we should make it a minimum three movies.

And we should also disallow any “gaming” of the system. We should let everybody put in five choices (in order of preference) – so that we capture the whole gamut – but no repeats allowed to unduly bias the choice. In fact, points should be taken away if anybody repeats a choice.

We should further have somebody overseeing that no aggressive campaigning is going on. We will call such a person a “czar” – because I love words where the leading “c” is silent. We need somebody with the track record of disqualifying nominations if they break rules.

Finally, who is going to do the counting? Lawyers are out. Supreme Court is out. While we are at it, let’s take Florida out too. We will get back to them when they finish counting their chads. Meanwhile, why not give it to some private company whose business is counting? Maybe an accounting firm? I like PriceWaterHouseCoopersLiebrandt because it completely messes up Microsoft spellcheck.

I think with that we will have a well democratized, unbiased process that is based on peer recognition. I think it is as simple as that.

Well, with one small problem. I found out after doing my research that the above is EXACTLY what is done!!!

Now I am confused. I know I am angry. I do not like the results. But I am not sure what I am angry with that gives rise to that result.

Am I the kind of guy that is supposed to vote for Trump? 🙂

Posted March 1, 2016 by Rajib Roy in category "Musings


  1. By Minnie Bhupathi on

    You can be angry with the blatant racism that is obviously part of Hollywood and manifested in the Academy Award process but please don’t extrapolate that to voting for Trump 🙂

  2. By Rajib Roy on

    Minnie, this is a genuine question – mostly borne out of ignorance on my side – what changes would you make in the process to eliminate alleged racism?

    1. By Minnie Bhupathi on

      Tough question, Rajib.
      So like you, I recognize it exists and then when it brought to the forefront by events such as the Oscars or the killing of an innocent 12 year old for handling a toy gun, I resort to a simmering anger without a coherent plan of any sort.
      Thought it doesn’t make me wonder if I should vote for The Donald 🙂

  3. By Rajashree on

    Some issues never seem to have a solution…like the castesim in India. Shashi Tharoor says that it is safer to be born a cow in India , than a Muslim.

  4. By Stephen Hunter on

    Sad to say no selection process has ever been changed to eliminate discrimination. It is what it is. Discrimination is inherent in the process. To what end? That is a human variable! To discriminate based on elements of a phenotype is self limiting to a thinking individual. But it is without a doubt that people are comfortable in their bias.

    I prefer to exam neuro-diversity. I’m intrigued and often impressed by your postings and thoughts of your close friends. It gives me a view I may not have otherwise considered. Thank you. Perhaps there is some solace in that for you in this long winded, “it’s all about your perspective “. Enjoy.

    PS No you should not vote for Trump!


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