Thursday, January 27, 2005

Reactions to Oscars on The Passion of the Christ

Beliefnet has a piece on how some have reacted to the relative lack of Oscar nominations (see Three Oscar Nominations for The Passion of the Christ) for The Passion of the Christ:

Passionate Christians Perceive Bias in Academy Award Nominations
By Andrea James
In a statement, Catholic League president William Donohue called "The Passion's" three nominations "second-tier."

"Having been criticized for months for not giving Mel a fair shake, it looks like the Hollywood elite got the message," Donohue said. "It seems plain that Catholic guilt has been successfully exported to Hollywood."

Tim Wildmon, president of the Tupelo, Miss.-based American Family Association, said he would have been surprised if "The Passion" received a best picture nomination.

"I don't know how exactly you prove discrimination based on religion or the Christian faith exactly except to say that it's well known that the Hollywood community has been anti-Christian for many years," Wildmon said. "Mel Gibson, even with all this star power, could not find anyone to help him pay to produce the movie. Here you have the greatest story of all time, one of the most influential people in history -- that is Jesus Christ -- with Mel Gibson involved, and he has to do it out of his own pocketbook."
(etc.). I doubt that bias has anything to do with it myself. It has more to do, I'd say, with the desire to avoid controversy, the same reason that Michael Moore's Farenheit 911 (which gets its UK TV network premiere tonight on Channel 4) received no nominations at all. I can feel an interesting blog entry coming on on how other Jesus films have faired in the Oscars.

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