Here at FishbowlLA, we can no longer get too excited or angry about matters Oscar-related. The show is a colossal disappointment each and every year, the acceptance speeches are honed for months on end via other telecasts, and in today’s fractious world the whole thing seems less important than ever. But we are clearly in the Hollywood media minority.
In the wake of this week’s announcement that Oprah Winfrey will receive the prestigious Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award on November 21, LA Times media critic Patrick Goldstein, Oscar show spoiler Nikki Finke, and many more are hitting the Kodak Theatre roof. Meanwhile, AP LA reporter Sandy Cohen has since checked in with Oprah (no comment by press time) and Academy president Tom Sherak:
“Oprah has given and given and given,” Sherak said, adding that she has contributed more than $500 million of her own money to charitable causes. “She’s a member of the academy, she was nominated for an Academy Award and she has produced movies. This is not about personality. This is about a person who has come from the depths, risen to the heights and given back. That’s a perfect example of why this award was created.”
The Academy’s Board of Governors may well have also been inspired in this case by the end of Oprah’s long-running daytime talk show. Either way, Internet backlash aimed at someone who has donated half a billion of her own cash seems, dare we say it, a tad non-humanitarian.
[Pictured: Jean Hersholt]