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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Attempts at patriotism were a facade

The absence of the red carpet for the March 23 broadcast of the Academy Awards did little besides postpone the entourage of fashion critics who traditionally evaluate celebrity outfits before the ceremonies begin. The Academy also removed the bleachers near the red carpet normally set aside for curious fans in the Academy’s attempts to “scale down” the event due to the “seriousness of the world situation,” according to a press release available at www.oscar.com. However, these mundane and half-hearted attempts to show respect for armed forces were merely a fa�ade, articulated best by host Steve Martin, who sarcastically said, “You probably noticed there was no fancy red carpet tonight. That’ll send them a message.”
The message most of them seemed to be trying to communicate, however, was one of objection to war and an urgency for peace, which is no surprise due to the many actors and actresses who have been rather outspoken in objecting to the war with Iraq. Although organizers of the Academy Awards urged the participants not to turn the ceremony into a protest for peace, the night did have its surprises.
Michael Moore, who won best documentary feature for “Bowling for Columbine,” was the first to bring in harsh criticism of the war with Iraq as well as President George W. Bush during his acceptance speech. His severe words were met with a mixture of boos and applause. However, the majority of winners avoided the subject altogether, while others made indirect references toward peace.
Additional attempts were made with the Iraqi conflict in mind. Many of the celebrities present at the awards chose to subdue their normal glitzy attire, several of the women opting for subtle black dresses, according to foxnews.com.
However, should the self-indulgent actors and actresses genuinely care about the military conflict currently going on in Iraq, or even the necessity for peace, the mere change of a colorful sparkly dress to a black sparkly dress, both likely costing more than the salary of a soldier who is overseas fighting, might not seem like enough to them.
Had their concern been genuine, whether it be supporting sentiments for peace or support of the troops, they might have seen the irony in parading into ceremony, wearing thousands of dollars worth of clothes and jewelry, solely to elevate themselves.
Perhaps the acting community can learn something from colleagues Will Smith, Angelina Jolie and director Peter Jackson, who all withdrew their participation from the ceremony due to its triviality during a time of international conflict. However, most of the acting community continue to boldly express their disapproval for the war and will go on pushing for peace without pausing to be grateful for the freedoms that they exercise and the lives of luxury they lead.
The irony of the country’s most admired and wealthiest opposing a war that enables them to keep that role has been lost on the majority of them. Luckily for them, and for all that disagree with war in Iraq, their opposition will not halt the protection of those freedoms.

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