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*Eye Roll* Fox’s Tucker Carlson Says Moonlight Only Won Best Picture Because of PC Culture

How long did you think it would take for the Moonlight backlash to hit via outlets like Fox News? Did you guess less than 12 hours after it won the Academy Award for Best Picture? Then congratulations, because Fox’s Tucker Carlson–whom you might remember as the “partisan hack” that tried to belittle Teen Vogue’s Lauren Duca for writing about fashion and teen culture as well as politics–used his spot as a guest on Fox and Friends to talk about Moonlight, a movie most viewers are pretty sure he’s never seen.

Because if you have seen Moonlight, it’s hard to know what the heck he’s talking about here:

It was foregone. You knew that Moonlight had to win because you knew what the film was about. And that’s part of the problem with Hollywood. Tons of really talented people there, brilliant at making movies. But the second you feel a political imperative, it destroys your art. The second you feel like you need to elevate the country, you become overbearing and pompous and boorish.

If Carlson has actually seen the movie, then I just 100% do not understand his tastes. Because to say anything “destroyed the art” of Moonlight is ludicrous. That movie was pure art, both visually and emotionally.

To call Moonlight’s win “foregone” is a perplexing twisting of Hollywood politics. Is Carlson really attempting to paint La La Land, the campaign-season-long faved frontrunner, as the underdog in this race? What could possibly be a more “foregone” choice in this category than a glitzy, highly stylized movie about a beautiful young couple, aimed to tap into feelings of white Hollywood nostalgia? The Academy lives for those stories.

And what, exactly, does Carlson see as being “political” in Moonlight? Is a movie about a black, gay man, made by a black creative team, inherently political? Does the fact that the Academy, Hollywood, and larger audiences are finally reaching a point where they can celebrate that type of material make it political? The answers to both of those questions is a resounding “no, of course not, and Tucker Carlson sounds like an ignorant imbecile.”

For Carlson to view anything about this movie as political, but to see La La Land, which was delightful, but whose white-savior-of-jazz tagline may as well have been Make Hollywood Great Again, as apolitical, is to willfully ignore his desire to see his own identity politics reflected in celebrated films. (Because enjoying glamorous white nostalgia isn’t the universal neutral baseline of existence; it is rooted in an expectation of representation.)

It can be hard (as well as unnecessary) to view the success of Moonlight outside of the context of the current political landscape. We can feel joy that this type of movie is being heralded as literally the Best Picture, at a time when racism, homophobia, and xenophobia seem to be running rampant, when even the country’s leaders tout those beliefs proudly. Plus, the Academy itself has declared a commitment to diversifying its body of voters. That can very well be viewed as a political act. But to say any of this is why the movie won is undeniably insulting, not to mention just plain false. To try to form a link of causation between the current climate and the movie’s win is robbing it of a very obvious fact…

Moonlight won because it deserved to win.


(image via A24)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.