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Slaps and Double Standards

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Bruce Bawer, The Left and violence at the Oscars.

Mea culpa. Last Friday I predicted here that the Sunday night Oscar ceremony would be wall-to-wall political rants, virtue signaling, celebrations of diversity, and lame, politically correct comedy.

For the first couple of hours of the show, that was true. The attempts at humor by the hosts – Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, and Regina Hall – might well have been scripted by Amy’s cousin Chuck. Amy’s first joke was about the (fictitious) gender pay gap: “This year the academy hired three women to host, because it’s cheaper than hiring one man.” Then she took a gratuitous jab at an aging straight white male: “Look at Timothee Chalamet,” she said as the camera focused on 67-year-old J.K. Simmons. “What happened?”

Sykes proffered a jest about Mitch McConnell that went right by me, then promised: “We’re gonna have a great night. And for you people in Florida, we’re gonna have a gay night!” – a reference, of course, to the new law (signed Monday by Governor DiSantis, and dishonestly dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law by its detractors) against grooming schoolchildren. Schumer cracked that at a time when we’re supposed to be celebrating women, the movie King Richard, about the father of tennis players Venus and Serena Williams, celebrates a man. And in another aging-white-man dig, she jibed that Leonardo DiCaprio is working hard to heal the environment and thereby “leave behind a cleaner, greener planet for his girlfriends.”

And oh, the diversity! The number of blacks on camera must have broken records. (The show began with Venus and Serena introducing Beyonce and a bevy of black backup singers, live from Compton.) Much was made of the fact that this year’s Best Supporting Actor, Tony Kotsur, is deaf. Accepting Best Supporting Actress, Ariana DeBose, who played Anita in Spielberg’s disastrous West Side Story remakeannounced that she’s an “openly queer woman of color, an Afro-Latina.” The winner of an animation award gushed: “I am proud to be part of a film that puts beautiful, diverse characters front and center.” Presenting the costume prize, two black women spoke of “Afro-futuristic

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