Oscars 2019: People are not happy that 'white savior' movie 'Green Book' won Best Picture and here's why
Apart from the three Academy Awards, it was nominated for Best Actor and Best Film Editing. However, not everyone is happy with the choice.
It's been a good day for Peter Farrelly at the Oscars. His film 'Green Book' not only won Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor, but it also became an Oscar-winning Best Picture project. Apart from the three Academy Awards, it was nominated for Best Actor and Best Film Editing. However, not everyone is happy with the choice.
"When the family of Don Shirley, Mahershala Ali's character in 'The Green Book', disavows the movie and says it's filled with a "symphony" of "hurtful lies." I mean, maybe we should all step back for a second and pay attention. Just saying. Oh well, glad racism is solved," wrote one user on Twitter, while another added taking a jab at the film, starring Mahershala Ali, "'True Detective' 4 will be about figuring out why Green Book won Best Picture." Ali plays an Arkansas detective in the latest season of the HBO show.
For anyone who may be interested in what the Green Book actually was, here is a link to more information about this act of resistance and source of love and survival for many African-Americans. It started with Victor Hugo Green. #OSCARS https://t.co/gdFp1mekub pic.twitter.com/9WkeInv2fd— Ava DuVernay (@ava) February 25, 2019
Another user blasted the Academy for its choice, "Some Academy folks would've voted for GREEN BOOK three times if they could've". Some critics found that the film also portrayed a "white savior" narrative. Set in 1962, the film is inspired by the true story of a tour of the Deep South by African-American classical and jazz pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) and Tony Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen), an Italian-American bouncer who served as Shirley's driver and bodyguard. "Remember when Green Book won Best Picture? Man, that choice did not age well," wrote another.
This article perfectly explains why Green Book likely won and why the voting system in place, the preferential ballot, is stupid and ineffective. With a system like this in place, you get winners like Green Book.. what a disappointment #oscars https://t.co/iBMz4Odgxy— Arjun Narayan (@narayan_arjun) February 25, 2019
The film came out on top after being surrounded by controversy through last year. The film's writer and producer, Nick Vallelonga, was embroiled in a backlash after a tweet from 2015 resurfaced where he agreed with Donald Trump when he claimed that Muslims in Jersey City cheered when the World Trade Center tragedy happened. He later apologized in a statement later saying, "I especially deeply apologize to the brilliant and kind Mahershala Ali, and all members of the Muslim faith, for the hurt I have caused. I am also sorry to my late father who changed so much from Dr. Shirley’s friendship and I promise this lesson is not lost on me. Green Book is a story about love, acceptance and overcoming barriers, and I will do better." But, the damage was already done, he had to delete his Twitter account after that.
Green Book is another white-savior movie that flattens real allyship and reduces the struggle for equality as a white person recognizing black humanity.. and that's it. Basically, if you have a black friend you're on an equal playing field as John Brown.— BLACK POWER BOTTOM TEXT ☭ (@pigmentpariah) February 25, 2019
Farrelly too came under fire. A 1998 Newsweek article resurfaced where he confessed about flashing his penis to Cameron Diaz as a joke and like Vallelonga, he apologized. What angered Twitterati, even more, was his acceptance speech when 'Green Book' won. Upon accepting the award, Farrelly emphasized on thanking Mortensen. "This doesn't start by the way without Viggo Mortensen. We have no movie. All these awards are because Viggo, and Mahershala, and Linda [Cardellini], but it started with Viggo." Green Book guy just said Viggo made the movie. Oh yeah and Mahershala. But really Viggo," one Twitter user said, while another wrote, "This man said that Green Book started with Viggo Mortensen. Not Mahershala...who played the character the story is actually about.Viggo. Mortensen."
spike lee leaving the place when they announced green book as the winner of best picture is what i need to keep living pic.twitter.com/ylR3xm2KfV— 𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑡𝑖𝑐𝑖𝑎 🕊 (@clubedaIuta) February 25, 2019
Spike Lee, whose film 'BlackKkKlasman' was also nominated for the same award walked out after 'Green Book' won the award.