Bret Easton Ellis Joins Chorus of White Men Offering Unsolicited Opinions About Black Panther
Nobody asked you, buddy.
Bret Easton Ellis wants you to know that he thinks Black Panther is overrated and doesn’t deserve an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. In an episode of his B.E.E. podcast, the author ranted about the film’s nomination, saying, “No superhero movie has ever gotten a Best Picture nomination. But believe me, Disney is doing everything in its power to make sure this happens. Even though there is no one out here in La La Land I’ve met who thinks Black Panther is that good as a movie. Yet, as a piece of representation, they are supporting it.”
He continued, saying, “The entertainment press and the studio is selling the notion that Black Panther is a grand piece of cinematic art that cannot be ignored. And this notion is being shoved down our throats and we can only smile in disbelief. Or perhaps understand that this is just the moment we’re trapped in. A joke, a hoax. It’s all fake news, folks.”
Oh, how original, an old white guy crowing about fake news. Look, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. If you don’t like Black Panther, that’s fine. If your biggest bone to pick with it is that it’s diverse and inclusive, you might want to rethink your stance/your racism. And even if you don’t like it, you have to admit that, between its massive box office success and its excellent reviews, it has made a major cultural impact.
Nevertheless, Ellis continues sticking it to the Hollywood libs. “Representation is so important to them. And with a huge fatuous inclusivity and diversity push. What the most flattering pose might be in the moment — as if inclusivity and diversity have anything to do with awarding a movie’s merits. Yes, this is the culture the Oscars are pushing, and it is rather nauseating.”
Yeah, how dare Hollywood … embrace diversity? I don’t see Ellis making the same comments about Green Book – perhaps because it was written and directed by white men? This wouldn’t be the first time that Ellis has taken umbrage with the Oscars. In 2012, Ellis tweeted that The Hurt Locker was only nominated because director Kathryn Bigelow was “a very hot woman.”
I’ve always considered Bret Easton Ellis one of those red flag artists. And by that I mean, if I meet a guy who is obsessed with Ellis’s work, I keep walking. Ellis, like Woody Allen or Roman Polanski, occupies a squicky category that calls into question someone’s judgment. And don’t get me wrong: I love American Psycho, Annie Hall, and Rosemary’s Baby as much as the next cinephile … but people who obsess over these auteurs can have a blind spot when it comes to racism and misogyny. Ellis especially, with his treatment of women both on the page and in real life, embodies an off-putting and violent aesthetic towards women that makes me uncomfortable.
Besides, if we wanted searing film critique, we can all do a lot better than the screenwriter of The Canyons.
(via The Wrap, image: Marvel Studios)
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