The good, the bad, the Oscar telecast
After the debacle of the Academy Awards ["Broadcast Did More Than Hand Out Gold Statues," Feb. 29], I'd like to suggest that the other networks and major cable stations stop showing reruns against the telecast because they're afraid no one will watch. Please, bring out your newest, best, brightest episodes and give the TV audience some real entertainment to enjoy — no need to be frightened of big ratings for the Oscars anymore.
Thanks for trying, Chris Rock, but I'm convinced a song-and-dance person who can tell a few jokes is a better fit as host. Ever watch the Tony Awards?
Susan Stoller Rapp
Generally, I respect and concur with Mary McNamara's reviews, but after reading her critique of the Oscars, it became apparent to me that I must have been watching a different telecast. When she observes that "it certainly wasn't boring," I had to stifle a "What?"
Boring it was, from Rock's relentless bleat of lack of diversity to his shameless Girl Scout cookie sales pandering.
One plus: Only three of the five nominated songs were performed — another ill-gotten attempt by the producers to shorten the broadcast, but it still went long.
With all the pontificating rhetoric spewed by the winners, one would have thought that one was at a political rally, not an awards show for movies, for Pete's sake. The show really was boring. Now, The Times can find legitimate above-the-fold front-page items other than lack of diversity and supposed racism in Hollywood.
John R. Grush
The problem with diversity became clear after seeing Rock's hilarious trip to Compton. White and black cultures are segregated. Not every film can embrace every person in every culture. Forcing every movie to fit into one homogenous, all-inclusive package means diluting what makes art unique.
I have a lot of problems with how the film academy does business and who its members nominate for awards.
But after reading Mark Olsen's piece ["The Oscars: Problem Isn't Just Skin-deep," Feb. 28], I'd still rather keep the current nomination list over those alternatives. Being different and allegedly more "adventurous" doesn't necessarily equate to awards-worthy.
What distinguishes the Oscars from the Grammys is that this isn't a popularity contest. Do we really want an Academy Awards ceremony where Michael Bay is a top contender for the directing prize, Adam Sandler is a lock for lead actor, and a "Jurassic Park" movie is up for best picture?
The academy through the years has selected great artistry in depicting socially aware stories. The struggles and triumphs of life will always be told by all film genres. The academy understands the challenges in selecting greatness in film even with controversy.
While I agree with all the stories you've run concerning the total lack of diversity in the Academy Award nominations, I have a giant question to ask: Why are all the critics' faces white, white, whiter than white?
The Envelope's Buzzmeter spotlighting nominees for supporting actor was a perfect example: four men, two women, all Caucasian.
There's an old saying about the pot calling the kettle black.
David R. Moss
Hollywood, L.A. Phil style
So Gustavo Dudamel is taking his act on the road ["Here or Away, Phil Goes Its Own Way," Feb. 27]. The playlist includes some ballet music, a movie score and a bombastic piano concerto. Seems appropriate for an orchestra that represents the entertainment capital of the world and whose home base is named Walt Disney Concert Hall.