December 10, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jerry Lewis to Receive
Hersholt Humanitarian Award
at 81st Academy Awards(R)
Beverly Hills, CA — Actor, director, writer and producer Jerry Lewis has been voted the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Academy President Sid Ganis announced today. The award, an Oscar(R) statuette, will be presented to Lewis during the 81st Academy Awards ceremony on February 22, 2009.
The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award is given to an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.
Alright, yes… He does that telethon every year and he’s the king of muscular dystrophy-related goodwill. But he’s also a bigot:
And he recently did it again, this time not offering any sort of apology.
Hmm, Academy… Is this really the best time to honor the ol’ phobe? With the Prop 8 protests, and with a biopic of a gay rights activist likely to among the night’s big films?
It’ll be interesting to see what happens: Will there it be a peep from the gay activists that have been very pick-and-choose about when they get loud? A full fledged boycott? It seems when their potential opponent might benefit them in terms of entertainment value (Mormon propaganda Twilight, and therein Robert Pattinson shirtless), everyone’s a bit more quiet.
But in total seriousness, the Oscars are like gay Christmas. Something I’m not at all suggesting I’m immune to. While I had no problem avoiding Twilight (I wasn’t interested anyway), the Oscars are a different story. I mean, they’re sorta my thing.
But frankly, I’m all for SOMETHING happening. No clapping. Sit on your hands like Ed Harris and Amy Madigan did so intensely when Elia Kazan got his honorary Oscar. Boo him, even (Sean Penn, I can count on you here, right?) Because Jerry Lewis is a bigot. A nasty, hateful bigot who should not be able to get away with saying these things. Twice. And once during a telethon for muscular dystrophy for christ’s sake.
And he certainly shouldn’t be getting an Oscar for his “humanitarian efforts.” To do that on the same night that the Academy is (hopefully and likely) honoring a portrayal of Harvey Milk’s life is really kind of insane.
PLEASE NOTE: I am not comparing this to Elia Kazan, its an entirely different situation with a different social/historical context. I was just using that example to provide ideas for suitable protest.