David. O. Russell's Offensive Comparison of Jennifer Lawrence's Work To Slavery Won't Matter Come Oscar Time
Ah, awards season: it truly brings out the worst in everyone. In tasteless comparisons of today: David O. Russell compared Jennifer Lawrence's work to slavery. Her schedule on the set of The Hunger Games was apparently akin to 12 years of slavery. It was a cheap shot at Steve McQueen's epic, honest and raw film 12 Years a Slave, which won the Golden Globe for Best Picture. And I quote Russell: "I’ll tell you what it is about that girl — talk about 12 years of slavery, that’s what the franchise is. And I’m going to get in so much trouble for saying that." Yes, a white girl working on a multi-million dollar franchise is totes the same as the ugliest blight of human injustice in U.S. history. You'd think a director would understand what a metaphor is...
But will he get in trouble for saying that? No doubt the Internet will hold him accountable, but will the Academy? Come Oscar-time, it'd be great to see such a flippant comment be punished, but that's unlikely.
In 2002, Roman Polanski was awarded by the Academy the prize for Best Director for The Pianist. Polanski, of course, was in absentia, as he is not allowed to set foot in the United States. Polanski fled the country in 1977 to avoid being charged with the rape of then 13-year-old Samantha Geimer. Regardless, Polanski's win for directing the World War II film The Pianist received a standing ovation.
The moral of the story is your Hollywood bros will always have your HighBrow Bullshit Artist back instead of regarding you as a human being who makes human error and deserves to suffer the consequences.
So no, I do not believe that Russell risks losing a nomination for American Hustle even though he really has no idea what slavery actually is. But hopefully Steve McQueen will take the win for Best Picture, and David O. Russell can sulk himself to sleep.
UPDATE: David O. Russell wants you to know he done goofed, and he's sorry-ish: "Clearly, I used a stupid analogy in a poor attempt at humor. I realized it the minute I said it and I am truly sorry."
Let's just all agree that we'll never use 'slavery' in any attempt, however piss-poor, at humor. At least he apologized, even though it's probably just to cover his own ass as awards season hurtles on.