Diamond And Silk Cruelly Snubbed By The Oscars, Says Guy Who Did Not See Their 'Movie'
Everyone had their feelings about how the Oscars went down on Sunday. There was certainly a lot of "Ugh. Green Book? Really? Ugh," going around for sure, plus everyone seemed pretty psyched that a film about menstruation equality won best documentary short. I, for one, spent a lot of time being like, "You know, if they have Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand, Queen Latifah, and Billy Porter and his amazing outfit in one room, shouldn't that just be the entire show? Plus Cher, somehow?" and also lusting after Keegan-Michael Key.
One person, however, who was particularly in his feelings about the Oscars was Alex Griswold of the Washington Free Beacon, who was absolutely outraged that the Oscars completely snubbed Dummycrats. You know, the documentary Diamond and Silk made, that was not actually even nominated for any awards and was in fact not qualified to be nominated for any awards. Oh, the injustice!
While the Oscar for Best Picture this year went to white director Peter Farrelly's white savior flick Green Book, the Academy Awards also snubbed the most authentic take on the modern black experience that came out in 2018.
This, by the way, is Alex Griswold.
If that's not a guy who is definitely very qualified to determine "the most authentic take on the modern black experience," I don't know who is!
Dummycrats is a film by Diamond and Silk, the most prominent African-American conservative voices since C.J. Pearson. The documentary shreds the eponymous "Dummycrats," opening with over twenty minutes of nothing but archival footage of Democratic gaffes and ending with Diamond and Silk wandering D.C. looking for Maxine Waters. Despite it's glowing reception, the film did not receive a nod for Best Documentary due to Hollywood's insidious left-wing bias.
Oh wow. That sure seems like an incredible film, with lots of emotional ups and downs. He must have been really touched by it. He laughed, he cried, it became a part of him. It took him on a journey within himself.
I never actually managed to watch Dummycrats...
OH. Ok then.
[T]he left-wing strangle on the national theater chains ensured that it's national run was limited to a single Fathom showing and it cost $225 to attend the D.C. premiere at the Trump Hotel.
It is, of course, available to rent or buy on Vimeo. One would think that if he thought this movie was important enough to be considered for an Oscar, he would have been willing to shell out $9.99 to watch it himself. That's about the cost of a regular theater ticket!
Griswold then explained that the audience reviews for Dummycrats on Rotten Tomatoes were 3% higher than the audience reviews for RBG, which he believes qualifies it for a nomination.
But the reviews of those who did see Dummycrats make it clear that at the very least, it deserved a nomination. The film has an 4.7 out of five rating on Facebook and an 80% audience score on RottenTomatoes, compared to only 77% for the nominated Ruth Bader Ginsburg paean RBG.
And, he claims that critics who reviewed the film gave it rave reviews.
Newsmax film critic Michael Clark gives Dummycrats four stars out of four. "You know you're in for something really different when the opening voiceover lets you know that if you're a liberal you might be offended by what you are about to see—especially you, Robert DeNiro," he wrote.
Dummycrats, he writes, "is in no way trying to hide, cloak, or lighten its message and serves as a wake-up call for the independent and undecided voters. It's being released for one night only … at a most critical time when the press is clamoring about a midterm 'blue wave' sweep …"
"… Diamond and Silk are perfectly capable …" writes the left-wing The Outline. "One gets the impression that… their status as black women lends credibility …"
"Democrat plantation…….!" writes IMDB commenter olgasafan. "So glad i came across this video and im not at all surprised why the internet is trying so hard to bury this!!!"
In case you could not guess by the strategic ellipses there, The Outline's review of Dummycrats was not quite as glowing as Griswold is trying to make it seem. Have I SHOCKED you???
Here is the part of that review from which those phrases were taken:
For the final segment, we see producer [Kyle] Olson travel to El Paso to interview Border Patrol and ICE about the dangers of illegal immigration and the failure of Democrats, who controlled zero branches of the federal government when Dummycrats was being filmed, to contain it. To have a little-known white man come out from behind the scenes to conduct interviews and perform narrations of which Diamond and Silk are perfectly capable kind of gives the game away. One gets the impression that, even in their own movie, Diamond and Silk are a sideshow to be ushered on and offstage by their white sponsors — from Olson to Lou Dobbs to Donald Trump.
When their status as black women lends credibility to partisan attacks, as it does when the focus is on Maxine Waters, they are given as much screen time as possible. When the topic changes and the white man in charge can perform the partisan attacks himself just as effectively, Diamond and Silk are pushed behind the curtain.
That kind of weaponized ellipsis is about on par for the intellectual honesty of the entire Right these days (and always).
Of course, I can't imagine why the Academy was not persuaded by IMDB commenter olgasafan's thoughtful take. Clearly, if the world were just, the Academy would have said "Diamond and Silk? In a movie? Fast track it to the nomination process, we don't even need to see it either!"
I was lucky enough to sit down last night with two actual film critics, Katie Rife of AV Club and Dede Crimmins, who writes for a number of outlets including Rue Morgue and Daily Grindhouse, to discuss why Dummycrats did not get an Oscar nomination. Mostly because they were in my living room, on account of how Katie is my roommate and Dede is our friend.
They explained to me that, actually, the audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes is just not really considered a big factor in Oscar nominations. Shocking! Also, there is a lot of criteria for being nominated for an Academy Award, none of which was met by Dummycrats.
One of those qualifications is that the film has to have a wide distribution and be reviewed by critics.
Screenings during the theatrical release must occur at least four times daily and must begin between noon and 10 p.m., with at least one screening beginning daily between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. The motion picture must be exhibited for paid admission, and must be advertised during each of its qualifying theatrical releases in a manner normal and customary to theatrical feature distribution practices. The film must have a movie critic review in either The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Village Voice, Los Angeles Times or LA Weekly. A television critic review will not be accepted. Filmmakers who are unable to obtain a review may appeal for an exemption.
Dummycrats, as Griswold acknowledges, was only screened for one night. They also did not make the film widely available to critics for review -- which was disappointing for me, personally, as you might imagine. The company that distributed it was not a traditional film distributor, but rather one that specializes in "event screenings" -- the kind where filmmakers or a company rent out the theater for a night themselves. This, Rife explained, is what Tommy Wiseau initially did for screenings of The Room. Makes sense!
So it's not as if the national theater chains all got together and decided that Dummycrats was not left-wing enough for their taste; it wasn't distributed to them in the first place, outside of event screenings.
Is it Mr. Griswold's contention that "conservative" documentaries should be up for Oscar nominations without meeting the same basic criteria every other documentary has to meet? The answer, clearly, is yes.
Dummycrats' snub follows a long history of liberal documentaries receiving Oscar nods while conservative films are ignored. Explicit left-wing propaganda like Bowling for Columbine, Sicko, Inside Job, Gasland, March of the Penguins, An Inconvenient Truth and most recently RBG have all received nominations and wins, but the last explicitly conservative documentary to receive an Oscar nomination was Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life in 1996.
Most egregiously, not a single Dinesh D'Souza film has been nominated. "Dinesh warned me this might happen," producer Gerald Molen told Hollywood Reporter when 2016: Obama's America was snubbed in 2012. "The action confirms my opinion that the bias against anything from a conservative point of view is dead on arrival in Hollywood circles."
2016: Obama's America also did not meet the criteria for an Oscar nomination. The other films did. It was a limited release that was widely panned by critics. It garnered a 27% approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, which is not very good. In fact, it is very bad. Also, Dinesh D'Souza is a criminal and a moron.
Given that conservatives are always complaining about Democrats wanting "special rights" for people, it seems odd that one would claim that a movie should not have to meet the basic criteria for an award if it is made by conservatives.
Griswold, again, has not even seen the film he claims should have been nominated for an Oscar. That is a pretty strong take! It's almost as if he is deliberately trying to instill a sense of persecution among people who are not being persecuted by anyone, for political reasons. Weird!
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse