LawFuel – “Sicko” writer / director Michael Moore has commented on his film’s nomination for an Academy Award for best documentary.
“Of course, every reporter who’s called me in the past few days wanted to know if I plan on giving an “anti-war” or “anti-Bush” speech, should “Sicko” win, as I did when we won the Oscar for “Bowling for Columbine” in 2003. (As you may recall, it was the 5th day of the war when those Oscars were held, and I said from the stage that, while I enjoy making nonfiction films, we live in fictitious times with a man of fiction in the White House. A ruckus ensued with a loud roar of cheers and boos, then someone cued the band to get me off the stage. As host Steve Martin said a few moments later, Teamsters were out back loading me into the trunk of a car.)
“Well it’s five years later and we are still at war. But there’s no booing these days. 65% of the public is now opposed to the war and to Mr. Bush. The Academy, instead of cutting off the microphone, now nominates anti-war films for Best Documentary. That’s right, three of the five nominees this year are Iraq War films!
“A lot of people ask me, ‘how does this whole Oscar voting thing work?’ Well, actors nominate actors, directors nominate directors — every branch essentially votes to nominate their own (including documentary filmmakers in my branch) — and then all 6,000 Academy members vote for the Best Picture nominees. After the nominations are announced, then all 6,000 vote for all the categories.
“But will there be an Oscar show this year? As you know, the Writers Guild (of which I am a member) is on strike and the Oscars are a union show. If the strike isn’t settled, they won’t be able to put on the typical telecast as no actor, writer or anyone I know will cross the picket line. This is all happening because a couple of hotheads at the studios (some would say union-busting knuckleheads) have walked away from the negotiating table in what seems like an attempt to simply get rid of the union. What do they think we are, air traffic controllers?
“The writers are only asking for about 2.5 cents out of every dollar made on Internet sales (that’s right, not even 3 pennies!), a small pittance compared to what the studios or networks rake in. That’s it. The union has dropped the demand to unionize the reality shows (in 1993, I created the first unionized reality show, “TV Nation,” but the Writers Guild unfortunately wasn’t able to build on this).
“I would like to believe that the honchos will come to their senses and settle this strike. Otherwise, I won’t be able to talk to Joan Rivers on the red carpet or attend all those Oscar parties afterward! Don’t make me suffer like this! My wardrobe and stylist people are already in tears.
“In the meantime, I’ll send you some pre-Super Tuesday thoughts next week. Thanks again for all your nice comments on the Oscar nod and I hope this extra attention on “Sicko” will help to push for the day when every American can go to the doctor or the hospital and never be asked “what’s in your wallet?” ”