Toronto Mike

Oscar Category Fraud

Every year I tell myself the Oscars are nothing more than an irrelevant circle jerk, but every year I try and see every film nominated for best picture and end up watching the Academy Awards regardless. It's harmless silly fun, afterall.

I watched Fences last night and was blown away by the performance by Viola Davis. At one point I told my wife I'd boycott the Oscars if she didn't win for best actress. Then, following the movie, I went online and learned she's not even nominated for best actress. She submitted herself for best supporting actress.


This is a strategic ploy to guarantee Viola Davis an Oscar. Many refer to it as "category fraud". That's an accurate term for it, in my opinion.

Why the actress herself gets to pick her category is rather puzzling. Viola Davis's part in Fences is most definitely not a supporting one, and she actually won for best actress at the Tony's for the exact same role. There ought to be some metric by which supporting actress is measured, such as % of spoken dialogue in a movie or % of time on screen. The decision should not lie with the actress actor or studio.

Again, in the realm of things, this means very little, but it does taint the deserved award somewhat. Its akin to stretching a double into a single in order to hit for the cycle.

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