Thursday, January 26, 2017

Constance Wu is Not Wild About Casey Affleck's Oscar Nomination

Constance Wu
For a lot of people, the Oscar nominations announcement was a big deal. It was a moment where La La Land tied with Titanic and All About Eve for the most Oscars. It was the moment that the black LGBTQ movie Moonlight became an Oscar front runner with eight nominations. However, there is one person who isn't happy: Constance Wu. In particular, she isn't too thrilled with the news of Best Actor nominee Casey Affleck (Manchester By the Sea) getting nominated, believing that he doesn't deserve it due to the recent news of his sexual harassment lawsuits. Her frustration is only the latest in a long line of potential trouble for Affleck's Oscar chances, but it nevertheless could sway votes.

Wu is most famous for her appearance on the sitcom Fresh Off the Boat, which has the distinct honor to being one of the only Asian sitcoms currently on TV. She plays the mother figure, whose strict cultural beliefs keep her from meshing with 90's American pop culture. The funny lady has been vocal about her opinion on a variety of topics over the years with her opinions on Manchester By the Sea being more based on a moral stance. In a series of Twitter posts, she claimed that:
"Men who sexually harass women 4 OSCAR! Bc good acting performance matters more than humanity,human integrity!Bc poor kid rly needs the help! Boys! BUY ur way out of trouble by settling out of court! Just do a good acting job,thats all that matters!bc Art isn't about humanity,right?"
She also wrote that she believes that a performance is one thing, but having a voting academy reward a performer with a notorious past is another issue. It gives agency to an actor who has mistreated people in the past and doesn't deserve respect. In Affleck's case, this is in reference to two sexual harassment cases from 2010 that came to light during Manchester By the Sea's Oscar campaign. Many were skeptical that Affleck would continue to have any winning streak, yet he's been pretty hot; most recently winning a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama. This is especially weird given that fellow Oscar contender Nate Parker's The Birth of a Nation also became mired in past sexual harassment allegations before dropping out of the race entirely. 

Still, Wu maintains a frustration that likely plagues many people both in and outside of the industry. It is also likely that man are outraged at Mel Gibson's Best Director nod for Hacksaw Ridge, believing that his comeback narrative shouldn't overshadow his past bad behavior. With that said, Affleck doesn't seem the least bit concerned about his Oscar chances as much as Wu doesn't seem angry about expressing her opinion. It's a thorny subject, and one that I feel uncomfortable discussing in a public forum in detail. However, the question now is if people like Wu will sway voters in time for Oscar Sunday, or if she'll continue to be right in representing a voice often submissive in Hollywood. Whatever the case may be, controversy abounds with this year's nominees, though thankfully not for a diversity issue.

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