“Roma” was at a disadvantage the moment you saw it on Netflix. Netflix is an online streaming service, and “Roma” is the first film ever to be nominated from such a streaming platform. The Academy Awards could never abandon the traditional roots of their Hollywood enterprise and allow themselves to open the door for streaming platforms to win such a notorious prize.
How did “Green Book” win best picture and not “Roma?”
According to The Week, it seems likely that Netflix misgivings held “Roma” back.
“Many Oscar voters that I talked to truly loved it, but also a bloc voted against it because they didn’t want a Netflix movie to land best picture,” said Variety’s Ramin Setoodeh on Sunday.
This could explain “Green Book’s” surprise victory.
While “Green Book” managed to win three categories from the Oscars, including best screenwriting, they received major backlash from many celebrities on Twitter because of the context of the movie.
According to Charlotte Clymer, “So, let’s just be absolutely clear: ‘Green Book’ was definitely not the best picture of the year, but it was certainly the most comforting movie for fragile white people who need that sort of thing in our Era of Trump. #Oscars.”
Soooo, let's just be absolutely clear: "Green Book" was definitely not the Best Picture of the year, but it was certainly the most comforting movie for fragile white people who need that sort of thing in our Era of Trump.#Oscars
— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) February 25, 2019
This wouldn’t be the first time Hollywood has tried to whitewash black experiences in order for white people to appear in a more pleasing manner.
From my personal observations when watching the Oscars this year, it was a completely different experience from previous years. There were actually more minorities winning awards than there ever has been. But the Oscars has a long way to go.
According to Wbur, “#OscarsSoWhite caught on as some actors vowed to boycott the Academy Awards that year. The campaign gained the attention of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which vowed to double the number of women and people of color in its ranks by 2020.”
The Academy Awards is trying to be more inclusive but their intentions seem misdirected since they are desperately trying to avoid being associated with the racial hashtag.
This makes sense because “Green Book” won best picture, satisfying their “diversity requirements” in order to prevent any backlash this year.
However, the film didn’t deserve to win because of its storytelling. It simply won to check off its diversity box. There were far better films that were nominated in best picture that deserved to win because of its great screenwriting, directing, casting and overall execution, such as “Roma.”