The demographics of Oscar voters have changed dramatically in recent years, but it may not be enough to help “Get Out” win any statues. Jordan Peele’s genre-defying masterpiece has groundswell of support among the Academy’s new crop of younger and more diverse members, but there is a still large faction of older voters who would rather see Gary Oldman fuming in a fat suit than watch a challenging horror-comedy about the black experience. Some Oscar voters are dismissing the movie outright without having seen it, according to one anonymous younger voter.
In a Vulture interview with a diverse group of 14 new members from across the Academy’s branches, one new voter took the temperature of the larger voting pool.
“I had multiple conversations with longtime Academy members who were like, ‘That was not an Oscar film,’” said the new member. “And I’m like, ‘That’s bullshit. Watch it.’ Honestly, a few of them had not even seen it and they were saying it, so dispelling that kind of thing has been super important.”
Some new voters recognized that their votes probably influenced the number of nominations “Get Out” received — four in total, including Best Picture — but it’s dismaying that others would dismiss the movie without even seeing it.
“I think ‘Get Out’ is a movie that we wouldn’t have necessarily thought of as an Academy movie two years ago,” said another new voter. “It doesn’t really fall into any of the boxes that we think these movies do. It came out in February, and that’s almost never worked for Academy … it actually is provocative. It questions everything. It’s brilliant.”
If last year’s historic “Moonlight” win taught us anything, it’s that the Oscars can still surprise. Whatever happens Sunday night, it will provide an interesting measure of just how much the Academy’s attempts at inclusivity have changed things.
Read Vulture’s full piece here.