From Variety (with some pictures I added):
Owen Gleiberman, December 6, 2018 10:07PM PST
I’m not a person who tends to have a censorious attitude toward stand-up comedians. …
Yet Kevin Hart’s comic tweets about the LGBTQ community … can leave you with a slightly queasy feeling. … Those tweets marked him as the wrong person — the wrong host — at the wrong time.
The Oscars are an awards show, but as much as that they’re a celebration of movies. And what, exactly, are movies about? …
That a few individuals’ faces are worthy of being projected 40 feet high while millions of people with less glamorous faces sit in the dark, eat popcorn, and admire them?
No! That’s totally wrong. You see, Owen Gleiberman knows exactly what movies are about:
But what all great movies are about, on some level, is empathy. They have been, and still are, the supreme vehicle for putting ourselves in the shoes
of people who aren’t us.
of beautiful, fabulous people who aren’t us.
To watch a great movie is to reduce that difference — between the people on screen, whoever they might be, and the people in the audience — to nothing.
I like the phrase “whoever they might be:” as if the people on screen are randomly selected.
In truth, they are there because they look better on a movie screen than the people in the audience:
The notion that The Movies represent egalitarianism is popular among actresses with 2 digit IQs reciting speeches at the Oscars, but, c’mon, Owen, don’t be such a sap …
That, in a nutshell, is the miracle of movies. … But the glory of cinema is that no movie is for any one person at the expense of anyone else.
If Quentin Tarantino doesn’t represent scrupulous equality and justice for all as opposed to fantasies of all-powerful domination, who does?
They are all for everyone.
No, actually, they are not. 2001 and Pretty Woman are not for everyone. Trying to make a movie for everyone is about the surest way to make a bad movie.
They’re not just about crossing boundaries — they’re about melting them down.
Yeah, sure …
Actually, movies get most of their mojo from the good old fashioned Rhett and Scarlett binary:
The trouble with Kevin Hart’s words— the reason that, by and large, they’re terrible jokes — is that they express a spirit of extreme anti-empathy. …
James Cameron, in contrast to Kevin Hart, is Mr. Empathy.
Going forward, that message could conceivably be the taking-off point for a hipper, better, more grown-up — and funnier — Kevin Hart. …
Judging by this column, I’m sure that Owen Gleiberman has lots of good advice for Kevin Hart on how to be funnier.
Kevin, have your people call me!
Some might argue that the high council of identity politics now demands too much. In this case, however, the real question was whether a comedian whose mocking reactionary spirit led him to write off a segment of our citizens
Sorry, Owen, but “citizens” is Anti-Undocumented.
in the most demeaning way possible was the person we wanted in 2019 to symbolize, on global television, the spirit of Hollywood.
One interesting question is whether Kevin Hart gets any Diversity Pokemon Points for being only about 5’2″?
Heightism just isn’t a Thing we are supposed to be concerned about.
The main job of the Oscar host is to tweak a great many of the people in the audience — the royalty of the industry. They are not, and shouldn’t be, above satire, especially on Oscar night. But the essence of the satire is that it shouldn’t leave a sour aftertaste.
… And that couldn’t be further from the defiantly inclusive spirit of Hollywood today.
Remember that phrase: “the defiantly inclusive spirit of Hollywood today.”
Also, consider Gleiberman’s implication that gay men are naturally egalitarian and anti-humor …
Hart’s spirit is, in fact, a bit Trumpian: superior and divisive, based on the falsity of exclusion. …
So movies are now being cast at random, with lots of illegal immigrants fruitpickers, to avoid Trumpian falsity of exclusion? Funny how I hadn’t noticed …
The last thing that anyone needed on Oscar night was to be laughing at the host and wondering, in the back of one’s mind, whether the cutting edge of his jokes was really the sharp blade of intolerance.
As Inkoo Kang asked in Slate about Borat, are comedies “politically useful” in the Current Year?
But drama, too, will come under suspicion of not being politically useful enough. As I wrote in “Exhortation and Megalomania” in Taki’s Magazine in 2015:
It’s widely assumed, both by liberals and conservatives, that the fields of arts and entertainment innately induce egalitarian political leanings.
Much of the prestige of the left, in fact, derives from the notion that it’s only natural for creative people to favor equality above all else. …
A more subversive theory is that art is inherently anti-egalitarian, that the entertainment industry thrives by elevating individuals to levels of mass adoration that Belshazzar of Babylon would have found excessive.
In turn, the entertainment industry adopts a bogus ideology of promoting equality to cover up its essential tendency toward Caesarism.