Friday, February 22, 2008

Refusing Oscar

It is Oscar time! Two actors in the 80 year history of the event have refused the award. The first was George C Scott in 1971 for his portrayal of General Patton in PATTON. I guess it was pretty shocking at the time. He called the ceremony a "two-hour meat parade, a public display with contrived suspense for economic reasons." He didn't show up to the event, later saying he was a home watching a hockey game.
Two years later Marlon Brando also refused his Oscar for The Godfather but with a more dramatic approach. He stayed home and sent Sacheen Littlefeather, the president of the National Native American Affirmative Image Committee. She walked past Roger Moore and declined the statue. She said Brando had asked her to represent him and he could not accept the award because of the treatment of Native Americans in film and television. She was very polite and "begged at this time that I have not intruded upon this evening and that we will, in the future, in our hearts and our understanding meet with love and generosity". Brando wrote a long speech that she read to the press after the show. You can read it here. Later that idiot Clint Eastwood got up and said maybe he should present the best picture award "on behalf of all the cowboys shot in John Ford westerns over the years." That is quite a comparison considering the genocidal atrocities against Native Americans the white man has committed.
Anyway, no one has refused an Oscar since, and probably won't. I take my hat off to Scott and Brando.

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