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Sunday, March 9, 2014
The Dirt Beneath their Feet
Forget something, boys?
The Oscars have come and gone, so Hollywood can relax for another year. I tuned in here and there for a minute or two at a stretch -- taking an hour out to watch "Walking Dead,"of course -- and found very little of compelling interest. No surprise there. I didn't see any black ribbons, partly because there weren't many to be seen, but mostly because I couldn't bear to sit through a four hour parade of giddy celebrities and endless commercials.
I learned the next day that a few in the audience (and on stage) did wear those ribbons, and that was very much appreciated by me and everyone else who works below-the-line... but as is glaringly obvious from the photos above, two of Sunday night's big winners just couldn't be bothered. Although (as any of my ex-girlfriends can attest) I'm sartorially-challenged when it comes to any sense of style, it seems to me that a little black ribbon would have looked awfully sharp on those crisp white tuxedos. They'd also have reminded everyone, above and below-the-line, that the people who do the heavy lifting -- the seven-eighths of the Hollywood iceberg whose invisible, tireless labor below the waterline makes it possible for the actors up on that gleaming one-eighth of ice to really shine -- actually count for something. That we matter too.
That Sarah Jones mattered.
But they didn't. So thanks for nothing, Jared and Matt -- you didn't remember or care, and we won't forget. That goes for the rest of the actors in the room Sunday night, too. This blog has been very supportive of actors over the years because they have a very hard job (one I sure as hell couldn't do) and because I love to see a great performance up on screen. Without them, there are no movies. I always assumed this respect went both ways -- that the actors understood what we do for them -- which is why I find it extremely disappointing that not a single actor at the Oscars was willing to put on one of those tiny black ribbons.* This speaks volumes, and what it says isn't good.
It's abundantly clear that when Bette Midler warbled "You are the wind beneath my wings" after the memoriam segment, she was singing about her fellow thespians and nobody else. Apparently the rest of us really don't count -- we're just the dirt beneath their feet.
Now we know.
But at least the Academy bowed to a tsunami of pressure from the below-the-line community and acknowledged Sarah Jones, however grudgingly. They didn't just ignore us. It wasn't much, but it meant a lot.
And at this point, I guess we just have to take what we can get.
* If I'm wrong about this -- and I sincerely hope I am -- please correct me.