The Oscars 2016, a joyless, painful guilt-fest

Once the Oscars were about glamour and stardom.

Jack Engelhard

OpEds Jack Engelhard
Jack Engelhard
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Some people won, some people lost, but Sunday’s Oscars were mostly about guilt, which is why shrieking Chris Rock was the perfect host.

He was perfect if you like feeling terrible about yourself. 

He’s black and you’re not and that was enough for him to keep rubbing it in.  He never let up.

He took up the anti-police “Black Lives Matter” taunt 48 hours after Virginia Police Officer Ashley Guindon was killed on her first day of duty.

I don’t go to enough movies. Is this racism? Islamophobia?
In comedy, timing is supposed to be everything.

Yes, black performers were given no heed for this year’s awards. This should not have happened. African-American talent deserves better. But does that make Hollywood “racist?” Over the years there’ve been quite a number of awards and nominations for black talent, as anyone can find on Google.

Life is unfair and that goes for everyone. Were Italians fairly represented? Sylvester Stallone lost. Asians? Greeks? Irish-Americans? Were Jews given a break?

But nothing works these days without a gripe or a cause. It’s never enough. Nobody’s satisfied. People all over feel shortchanged, which is why millions gravitate to the casinos. As I expressed it in “Indecent Proposal,” we feel cheated by life and temptation drives us beyond limits to get even. 

Sunday’s Oscars were about in-your-face getting even.

So, okay. Okay! I get it and I’m sorry. It’s my fault that Will Smith didn’t get nominated. I take full responsibility.

I’m sorry about global warming, too, Leonardo DiCaprio. I apologize and won’t let it happen again.

We thank the Academy for reminding us that we are slackers. We promise to mend our wicked wicked ways for next year’s Oscars especially if Chris Rock’s number comes up again. We need to make him happy. Late word has it that this year’s telecast dipped six percent in the ratings. This too must be racism, no?

More guilt? You bet.

Like that man said, the man who ran up to accept the Oscar for something or other – we are not doing enough for gay equality.

Count me in as guilty here, too. I’m sorry and won’t let it happen again.

Years ago the Oscars were about glamour and stardom. I don’t remember them as being a joyless, painful guilt-fest.

DiCaprio, accepting for Best Actor, warned that if we don’t do something about global warming right this minute the planet is doomed. This was around midnight when he said that and…and OMG! Was I supposed to get a good night’s sleep after hearing this?

If you are not Stephen Spielberg, is there any hope?

I mention Spielberg because that is practically the only name I know anymore. What happened to Gable and Lombard, Bogart and Bacall?

These new people, I don’t know them and I feel guilty about that, too. I don’t go to enough movies. Is this racism? Islamophobia?

“We didn’t need dialogue,” lamented Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. “We had faces.”

These days, as for me, I hardly know the faces and most of the time I don’t even know the names of these morning glories. This is my fault, for sure.

Anything else to feel terrible about after Sunday night’s Guilt Bash? Yes! Good movies, the small ones, get no chance, no shot. Only the studio ones budgeted at $250 million, where things fly and go bang all over the place and tell no story – these make it to the big screen.

Too bad, then, for Laszlo Nemes. This Hungarian director won for a movie that tells a story, a story about the Holocaust.

“Son of Saul,” nabbed the Oscar for Best Foreign Language and from all accounts it is a very fine film – which nobody will see.

We should all feel guilty about this, especially. 

New York-based bestselling American novelist Jack Engelhard writes a regular column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the international classic “Indecent Proposal” now followed by the prophetic thriller “The Bathsheba Deadline.” Engelhard is the recipient of the Ben Hecht Award for Literary Excellence. Website: