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Hollywood Crisis: No Oscar Nominees of Color This Year

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Jeanine in Alamogordo, New Mexico. It's great to have you on the program and I'm glad you waited. Welcome.

CALLER: Thank you. Hi, Rush. How are you?

RUSH: Very well. Thanks much.

CALLER: Hey, I hope I can make you feel a little better. Your evening was not in vain because my husband and I knew that you were going to be enduring the State of the Union, so we went out and had a great time last night.

RUSH: Well, congratulations. Congratulations. Thank you very much. Well, you know, it's the gig. It's part of accepting the responsibility of doing this.

CALLER: Well, we can't thank you enough. We went to the movies and we had a great time so thank you and Kathryn for your sacrifice.

RUSH: What did you go see at the movies?

CALLER: We went and saw True Grit.

RUSH: True Grit?

CALLER: Hm-hm.

RUSH: Did you like it?

CALLER: Yes, very much, very much.

RUSH: Did you see the original True Grit?

CALLER: Yeah, John Wayne is my favorite actor.

RUSH: So how did this stack up against the original True Grit?

CALLER: It was actually really good. Some of the lines even came from the original. It was really close in some places. Jeff Bridges did a terrific job. I'm not a big Matt Damon fan, but he was actually fun to watch.

RUSH: You know, Glen Campbell was in the original True Grit.

CALLER: Yeah, but I didn't care for Glen Campbell.

RUSH: Gallons of hair spray for Glen Campbell. When he wore the cowboy hat on top of the hair sprayed hair it puts a dent in it so they had to redo the hair after every take, not just every scene. It took 'em weeks to finish that movie.

CALLER: I know. And, you know, because of his hair you just could not believe he was a Texas Ranger.

RUSH: Who, Glen Campbell?

CALLER: Yeah.

RUSH: Yeah, but I tell you something, other than Judge Napolitano, the adult Eddie Munster, there's never been anybody with a better head of hair than Glen Campbell. I mean that's something I think we can all agree on.

CALLER: Well, some people would say Donald Trump's got a great head of hair.

RUSH: Yeah, Trump's... (laughing) Yeah, that's one way of looking at it. By the way, I don't know if you know this or not but there's a story in the Wall Street Journal, and there is trouble in -- (interruption) well, the Breck Girl, yeah, but I still think, you stack Glen Campbell against any of these people and nobody had a more natural, better head of hair back in the days of his TV show than Glen Campbell. Anyway, there's trouble in Hollywood, Jeanine. Do you want to know about it?

CALLER: I do, please.

RUSH: No people of color have been nominated for Oscars. No African-Americans, no Hispanics, no Asians, no Alaskans, no medicine men have been nominated. "In 2002, the Oscars had a breakthrough: Denzel Washington won the award for best actor (a first for a black actor since Sidney Poitier in 1963) and Halle Berry became the first-ever African-American to win the best actress honor. At that same ceremony, Will Smith had been up for best actor for 'Ali.'" This year not a single person of color, ten movies nominated for best picture, not a single one of them stars an actor of color. And they're all worried about this. The blogs and the filmmakers are talking to each other about, "Oh, no, what does this say about us?" The Oscars are about to happen out there and it's minorities hardest hit. They're all worried, "My God what does it say about us? Are we a bunch of bigots? Are we a bunch of racists?" Is it too late to nominate Obama playing the role of president in the State of the Union last night? I guess it's not long enough to be a feature presentation, probably a short or a documentary or something. Anyway, did you know any of this, Jeanine?

CALLER: Well, I thought that Hattie McDaniel was given an Oscar back in 1939. It may have been a special Oscar, but I thought Hattie McDaniel got an Oscar for Gone with the Wind.

RUSH: Maybe, but we're talking about now. Hattie McDaniel wins one back in the Gone with the Wind days, and not a single person of color nominated for anything in the ten nominated movies for best picture.

CALLER: But, you know what? That's because Hollywood is racist, and they don't give black people good parts.

RUSH: Well, you might think that. What would the average American conclude here? You have a very powerful industry run by liberal Democrats, very rich liberal Democrats, and they have their top ten best movies, nominated best movies, and not a single person of color nominated for anything, not even best supporting stooge. Nothing. Zilch, zero, nada.

CALLER: Well, you know, I think Obama should get an Oscar for his portrayal as president.

RUSH: (laughing) The problem is he's all too real. Now, this Wall Street Journal story is interesting. "The near-shutout of actors of color from this year's awards season is already drawing comments from bloggers and filmmakers. 'Will white be the only color on the red carpet at the 83rd Academy Awards?' asked a Hollywood Reporter story in advance of the nominations. 'The nominations were as much about who got left out as who got nominated for an award,' wrote Nsenga Burton on The Root, an African-American website. Some critics blame the fact that Hollywood's casting choices aren't diverse enough; others say that because Hollywood is making fewer serious films, it's hard for any actors, regardless of their race, to find rich parts." Now, the only reason I found this fascinating is because these are the people that tell us how to live, the Rob Reiners and the Norman Lears, all the others out there that have all the answers, they're the ones that are constantly calling us racists and bigots and sexists and homophobes, and here in this most enlightened industry and you can't find a single person of color nominated in any of the ten pictures up for best picture.

"An essay titled 'Don't blame Oscars for lack of black nominees' on the Grio, an African-American website, suggests that economics, not bigotry, are to blame for the lack of black nominees at this year's Oscars. 'Movies are a function of stark economics and financial viability,' writes Javier E. David. 'Ultimately, what gets green-lighted is a reflection of the public's willingness to pay.'" So the African-American blogger Javier David said it has nothing to do with racism or bigotry; this is the market. The market. (interruption) Well, it may be excuses, Snerdley, but he says it's the market. He said the people that make movies are facing stark economics, and they have to pay attention to what the public is willing to pay to see. Does he realize what he's saying here? Apparently he suggests that the market right now does not want to see people of color in prominent roles in Hollywood movies. Well, I don't know what he's saying, Snerdley, you can analyze it. But I tell you, how long is it gonna be before we get calls for reparations here for all of the missed opportunities if this is to repricate society?

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, our recent story about the dearth of nominations for actors of color, actresses of color, the top ten movies nominated for best picture has evoked a deep sentiment with the Official Obama Criticizer, Bo Snerdley, who has asked to weigh in on this subject.

SNERDLEY: Rush, there is something tremendously insidious and vile underneath this resegregation, resegregation of Hollywood. Our leading Hollywood producers -- and we all know who they are -- the Spielbergs, the bigwigs are simply look at black and Latino America in the face, especially black America, and you know what they're saying to 'em? They're saying, "Look, we gave you people enough. We elected him president. We did that. We don't have to put any of you people in movies anymore."

RUSH: You people?

SNERDLEY: You people!

RUSH: You people?

SNERDLEY: We were railroaded to putting you people in movies. Those roles were ours. You really think we wanted to put Will Smith in all those moneymakers? You got to be crazy. We didn't want him in there, but we had to do it to look good. You really think, do you really think we wanted to get what's his name, Fox, playing Ray? We had that role all set for Nicholas Cage. No, no, no, we had to give those roles to you people. Well, guess what, we gave one of yo boys the biggest role in the United States, y'all ain't getting no more. Thank you.

RUSH: That is the Official Obama Criticizer. You have a version of that for our brothers and sisters in the hood?

SNERDLEY: My brothers and sisters in the hood, y'all been played. Guess what's up? Check this out. Y'all thought y'all was doing it, y'all thought y'all could see yourself on TV commercials selling toothpaste, chewing gum, and in Hollywood movies. We got something new for you this year. When you turn on the Oscars looking for the brothers and sisters, when you're looking to see who got back, who ain't got back, whose snacking with Mack, y'all ain't gonna be showing up in the house this year. That's right, party's over, y'all flipped, y'all out the hood, you're out of the pics, we ain't got nothing for you except to clean up afterwards. And, by the way, some of those joints gonna be catered, and they gonna call you all in there, y'all not having no soul food this year, we going back to the regular stuff. Y'all ain't in the mix. Get on up outta here, yo day is done, Hollywood is being run the way it was run when... well, need I say more? I'm outta here.

RUSH: And that is the Official Obama Criticizer, Bo Snerdley. And we'll keep in touch. Essentially there's a lot of outrage that just sprung up here over the just-learned fact that there are no people of color. The Official Obama Criticizer has asked for more airtime. Go.

SNERDLEY: One more thing. Where's Jesse? Where's Al? This is the biggest outrage in America. Here you got segregation at the highest levels in the land, and where them brothers? Where are they? Where you at, Jess? Where you at, Al? And where's my boy up in San Francisco, that little state senator, what's his name, Leland, whatever his name? Yo, this is what's up, y'all. Hell, we got segregation here. People are being beat upside the head. Their jobs have been beat upside the head. They can't get no roles and feed their family and win a recession. Where is the support? Where's the love? Thank you.

RUSH: Again, the Official Obama Criticizer, Bo Snerdley, a little upset here when he figured out that there are no people of color nominated, actor, best supporting actor, actor, actress, the top ten nominated best movies of last year. I guess it's safe to say that this year's Oscars minorities and women are hardest hit, or hurt most. But Mr. Snerdley, there are some women nominated. Clearly there's a best actress, a best supporting actress and so forth, but none of color, from the area of the country which veritably preaches to the rest of us how to live. And they even put that in their movies, Driving Miss Nancy. Uh, Miss Daisy, I take it back, Driving Miss Daisy.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Mr. Snerdley, the Official Obama Criticizer, an e-mail for you, sir: "Hollywood and African-Americans -- It seems that they have yet to learn that -- especially from the president's example -- just being African-American is not sufficient anymore." That was your point, sir. Hollywood was instrumental in the election of Obama, and yet there's no satisfaction. Racism is not over. There's a total diss in Hollywood when it comes to the Oscars. What's needed, apparently, in order make the point to fulfill the dream, is an unemployed black Jewish lesbian atheist in a movie. This is the role: An unemployed black Jewish lesbian atheist trying to save earth from global warming. That would be worth it. That would make up for all of the transgressions, right? You coffer all bases. You'd get everything Hollywood cares about and promotes with that one single thing. That's what they could do. Now, whether or not it would sell at the box office, who knows? The DVD would clean up.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Hi. Welcome back. Great to have you here. It always is, ladies and gentlemen, I, Rush Limbaugh, your guiding light, period. Livonia, Michigan. This is Autumn. And welcome. Nice to have you with us today.

CALLER: Hi, Rush. It's great to talk to you.

RUSH: Thank you.

CALLER: (giggles) I had just two quick points to make about the Hollywood story --

RUSH: Yes.

CALLER: -- that you were talking about earlier. You know, who cares about the acting awards? I mean everybody wants to direct, right? So here's a suggestion.

RUSH: (laughing)

CALLER: (giggles)

RUSH: You know, that was Larry King's most often asked question of an actor or actress.

CALLER: (giggles) Oh, really? (giggles)

RUSH: He'd be sitting there with those hunched shoulders and the suspenders, and he'd look at Cameron Diaz after she's just described the intellectual value of What It's Like to be Mary or whatever the hell it was and he'd look at her and say, "And...and do you want to direct?"

CALLER: (giggles)

RUSH: It's the most often asked question. So you have a great point there.

CALLER: (giggles) Okay, well, I have a great solution, too. How about Hollywood has to use the same criteria that the NFL was forced to use when they were hiring coaches, and they have to go through a panel of minority directors first before they can put Michael Bay in charge running another picture.

RUSH: She is referring, ladies and gentlemen, to the Rooney Rule.

CALLER: (giggles)

RUSH: The Rooney Rule is named after its creator, Dan Rooney, the chairman emeritus of the Pittsburgh Steelers (the current ambassador to Ireland), and the Rooney rule is that you must interview minorities for coaching openings. It doesn't say you have to hire, but you have to seriously interview.

CALLER: Yes. Right.

RUSH: And some teams do, and some teams have skirted it and been fined. So what you're suggesting is that Hollywood directors, producers, executive producers must seriously screen test black actors and actresses --

CALLER: For director.

RUSH: -- before fully casting the film.

CALLER: (children making noise) Well, to direct their pictures, sure. Absolutely. I mean, that's only fair, right? If it's fair for football, why not? You know, another thing that Hollywood's exempt on, too -- it's what the author of that story that you talked about earlier is correct. (children making noise) Why is it that Hollywood is allowed to be mandated by the dictates of the free market, but not any other industry in the country?

RUSH: That's an interesting question. Remember, now, it was an African-American contributor on that blog who said, "Look, we gotta understand here: Hollywood has to make movies they think people are gonna pay to see that year." What he's saying is: If the directors think that the time is not right for a black actor in that role, then, "Okay, we gotta go with it," and that's a great question: "Well, if Hollywood's allowed to go free market, why not everybody else? Why can't Big Oil? Why can't...?"

CALLER: Or the auto industry? (children making noise) You know, why can't they make cars that people want to drive that will fit my family? (children making noise) Why are they being --

RUSH: Oh, yeah.

CALLER: -- subsidized to make --

RUSH: Yeah.

CALLER: -- electric cars and vehicles that nobody wants to buy?

RUSH: Right. How many electric cars did Obama promise to have on the roads last night, a hundred million or something? Not a hundred million. He promised a certain number and nobody cared. You're... (children making noise) You're exactly right. Autumn, what do you do?

CALLER: Well... (giggles) Actually I'm a homeschooling mom, and you can probably hear some of my kids in the background here.

RUSH: Well, I do but they sound happy, and you are obviously a great educator.

CALLER: Well, Rush, I have to tell you that as the kids get older and we start introducing great thinkers and philosophers, we will be incorporating the great El Rushbo into our curriculum. Because, you know, in the modern era of thinking, you are a national treasure, and --

RUSH: Well, that's --

CALLER: -- you will definitely be part of our curriculum in the upcoming future. That's for sure.

RUSH: Thank you very much. That is so nice.

CALLER: I've learned a lot from you.

RUSH: I appreciate that. I really do. At what age do you plan on introducing the young skulls full of mush?

CALLER: (giggles) Well, we already do at a certain level... (child screaming) You know, a certain level that they can understand.

RUSH: Well, I was gonna suggest that it's never too early.

CALLER: No, absolutely. That's exactly right. (child screaming) And so, you know, we try to squeeze a little bit that they can, you know, understand here and there. But, yeah, we'll be going, you know, more into it in the -- a little bit upper grade school grades.

RUSH: Well, best to you, Autumn, and congratulations on your efforts. Thank you very much.

CALLER: Thanks, Rush. Keep doing what you do.

RUSH: You bet.

CALLER: Because you're great at it, and we love you, and we need you.

RUSH: Thank you very much. I appreciate it. That's Autumn from Livonia, Michigan.

END TRANSCRIPT

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