So I’ve decided to boycott the Oscars this year. I categorically am stating to you, the reader, and all the world for that matter, this simple fact: I will not be attending next month’s Academy Awards. (Excuse me for a moment…GMA is about to call.) The primary reason, of course, is that I was not invited. Again. Plus I am somewhat disgusted by their egoistic self-congratulatory nature. And once the opening monologue is over, they are about as interesting as C-SPAN at 2 a.m. after a couple doses of NyQuil. But those are only the main reasons.
The host of secondary reasons I will be shunning the seemingly unshunnable include the fact that the extensive list of nominees is about as diverse as a Northern Wisconsin deer camp. Scanning the list, I almost feel as if I am not welcome into the community. Nowhere is there anyone who looks like me. Nowhere is there a 40-something bowlegged Dutch guy with a paunch. Not one. It’s as if we were purposefully excluded.
And don’t give me that worn-out shtick about nominations being ‘performance-based’. Blah, blah, blah, we’ve heard it all before and it just doesn’t ring true. Are you telling me there was not a strong enough pool of 40-something bowlegged Dutch guys with a paunch to choose from? Seriously? What about Dick Hein ‘Derek’ de Lint’s moving portrayal of Johan Keivit in the film Michiel de Ruyter? Or Roeland Fernhout’s outstanding performance as Cornelis de Witt in Michiel de Ruyter? Or the striking depiction Egbert-Jan Weber gave us of William III in Michiel de Ruyter? Obviously, you don’t have to look far to find any number of 40-something bowlegged Dutch guys with a paunch in break-out roles.
But even so, ‘performance-based’? Get ready for some hard truth, people: Performance doesn’t matter. Just look at the Cleveland Browns or the EPA. The logical conclusion is that for some reason, Hollywood wants to keep us down. There hasn’t been a 40-something bowlegged Dutch guy with a paunch Oscar-winner since Fons Rademakers won it for The Assault in 1986. 1986! That’s over sixteen years! And that was under the ‘Best Foreign Film’ category which isn’t even presented in the show until long after everyone has switched over to Mr. Selfridge.
Is The Academy threatened by us? Or do they simply hate us? Strong words, I know, but diversity is what makes America great and if we are excluding 40-something bowlegged Dutch guys with a paunch, who is next? People with unusually large hands that turn pinkish-purple in the cold? Bushy-eyebrowed crooked-smilers with a bad comb-over? Where will it end?
And since we’re on the subject, how about we read for a moment about the NBA? I and those like me have been excluded from playing in the NBA for as long as I can remember. Trivia question: When was the last time a 40-something bowlegged Dutch guy with a paunch won the NBA MVP? Or even nominated? How about never.
MVP nominations represent the NBA. The NBA reflects basketball and basketball reflects America. This is not the America I want to leave behind. There is obviously a separatist conspiracy by owners and coaches to ‘keep us in our place’, whatever that means. And I’m sick of it. I am going to boycott the NBA. At least until it looks more like me. Because it’s all about me, after all.
You know what else I’m going to boycott? Yep. The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Since its inception in 1964, do you know how many 40-something bowlegged Dutch guys with a paunch have graced the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue? I think you do. And the pictorial? Likewise.
While I appreciate Sports Illustrated for its ground-breaking use of ‘Ill’, for me the swimsuit issue is little more than a symbol of divisive hate. Imagine how I feel walking through the Walmart check-out line every February and having to look at something that is not me. It is readily apparent that diversity in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is a problem from top to bottom. And I think it’s time for a conversation. Yes, I said it: a conversation.
We need to stand together and fight this institutional injustice toward 40-something bowlegged Dutch guys with a paunch where ever it is found. Above are just a couple of examples that I have found glaring and, since they are well within my sphere of influence, I have singled them out for boycott. I haven’t even mentioned cable news anchors, hibachi chefs, or jockeys. (It breaks my heart to know that I will never win The Kentucky Derby—in this country anyway.)
So won’t you join me in not attending The Academy Awards? Perhaps if word spreads, soon those not attending The Academy Awards will actually be in the majority. Then maybe The Academy will take notice. Maybe I will just spend February 28th at a Knicks game or something—No wait…
*Join the social media phenomenon at #OscarsSoNon40somethingBowleggedDutchGuysWithAPaunch.