Avery Boulware, Campus Carrier Editor-in-Chief
On Sunday, former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly posted a series of tweets about why he was choosing not to watch the Oscars.
(Also, just to be clear, I don’t support O’Reilly or follow his account. Someone I follow retweeted his original message and added their own thoughts, which is how I came across these tweets).
The first tweet read as follows: “Was very happy not to watch the Oscar show last night because phonies on parade has zero appeal for me. Right now there is a judgment jihad in Hollywood about politics and behavior. Cheap shots and false perceptions are running riot.” The second one said “Spare me the Oscar telecast where artistic achievement has been replaced by idiotic bombast and shallow posturing. That’s not entertainment.”
O’Reilly’s tweets were disappointing, but also a little comical. First of all, it is absolutely fine to not be interested in the Oscars. I choose to watch, but it is your prerogative to opt out. However, to blatantly avoid celebrating the most talented artists in the film industry simply because they are using their platform for activism is childish. O’Reilly is entitled to his opinion, of course. But is he against more diverse representation in Hollywood? Is he against equal opportunities for actors, writers and directors, no matter their gender or race? These are the causes that many of the nominees are advocating for and topics they brought international attention to during the program. I don’t know the full extent of O’Reilly’s platform or what he wants to see in Hollywood, but it sounds incredibly narrow-minded if he is against the human rights causes that were voiced during the Oscars.
Secondly, O’Reilly’s solution for dealing with opposing opinions to his own is comical. If he tries to boycott every organization that is fighting for equal rights among all Americans, he is going to be severely limited in where he can consume music, film, or even buy coffee for that matter. Finding and consuming content solely from artists whose political beliefs perfectly align with your own is going to be incredibly limiting. It would truly be a shame for any of us to miss out on a beautiful piece of music, literature or film simply because we don’t agree with an artist’s political leanings.
This also opens the conversation of credibility; many actors, musicians and athletes are being criticized for using their celebrity to voice their political beliefs. I think this is one of the problems that O’Reilly had with the Oscars. My opinion is this: if you have the right to vote, you have the right to speak about what you voted on. Yes, lawmakers and analysts are typically more educated on the ins and outs of politics than the average American. But, until only those educated few are allowed to vote, everyone is allowed to speak up as best they can.
In short, everyone gets a voice, whether you are on TV for politics or film. But Bill O’Reilly isn’t on TV at all anymore, is he?