BlazeTV Host Takes Home Oscar For Best Achievement In Twitter Bigotry
I just heard the Academy Awards were last night. There wasn't any halftime show-related controversy, but apparently some people -- specifically bigots -- were upset that the South Korean film, Parasite, won Best Picture. Reportedly, this foreign-language film isn't even in English. but it also won best original screenplay not featuring an Avenger. Blaze TV host Jon Miller considered this an attack on the American way.
Parasite director Bong Joon-ho is Korean, so it's not a mystery why he spoke his native language. Koreans speaking Korean happens every day. It's not connected to the "destruction of America," which was Donald Trump's election. The part of Joon-ho's acceptance speech that he spoke in English was roughly equivalent to Prince's entire 1985 Oscar speech. I thought he was more than respectful of his audience.
Miller is cranky that Parasite's screenplay received an Oscar over the all-American Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and 1917, which is a British film. He later "clarified" that when he blamed "these people" for ruining the nation, he didn't mean Korean but
the Jews in Hollywood, for honoring a movie that "stokes flames of class warfare." He also thought the other two films were more deserving. Who's gonna tell him he's not a member of the Academy? That's who the winners thank first in their speeches. It's one of many reasons why Brad Pitt didn't mention Jon Miller when accepting his Oscar last night.
The "class warfare" complaint on its face seems a reasonable objection from your typical, close-minded conservative. However, Miller also tweeted that Joaquin Phoenix deserved his Oscar for Joker, which is overtly about class warfare. It's hardly possible that Miller missed that. The film's themes are about as subtle as Phoenix's makeup.
Some of Miller's buddies tried to help clean up his mess and explain why Miller, who tries to communicate for a living, expressed himself so badly.
This is perhaps an example of "physician heal thyself" because I don't know what the hell Mike Cernovich means here. [Dok Zoom jumps in: It's Mike Cernovich, so maybe he thinks it's still 1992 and black people in Los Angeles are burning down Korean grocery stores.] Miller's tweet triggered a pretty epic ratio, so it's almost impossible to follow up on everyone who dragged him. However, I think very few of them are silent on Asian-American hate crime victims. I know I'm vocally anti-hate crime.
I've also worked professionally as both a writer and an editor, and it's absolutely not "clear" that Miller didn't mean Koreans when he wrote "these people." He never mentions Hollywood as an industry. The subject of almost every sentence in the tweet is Joon-ho. The word directly following "Korean" are "these people." Miller should deactivate his account -- not solely because of this offensive tweet -- but just on general principle.
Joon-ho's acceptance speech for best director was a master class in, well, class. He praised his fellow nominees, almost bringing Martin Scorsese to tears when Joon-ho cited him as an inspiration. He also took the time to thank Quentin Tarantino for supporting his work and helping raise his exposure in the US. Neither Joon-ho nor those who honor him are the "destruction of America." Joon-ho represents what makes America great if we reject mindless jingoism and cultural resentment.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).