5 Observations From the Oscars

A big part of ministry and leadership is being able to analyze and engage culture. Few things shape culture more than film, and last night’s Academy Awards was an insightful place to observe some cultural realities.


I watched the entire broadcast and here’s what I noticed:

1. God has gifted people with a remarkable diversity of strong creative gifts.

It was amazing to see all the creative folks who work on sound, cinematography, and digital creation, not to mention the directors and actors. Each of these people are so creative and offer our culture the blessings of beauty, stories, and adventure.

2. Nobody acknowledged God.

Most times during awards shows somebody will thank God during an acceptance speech. Not this year. This doesn’t necessarily mean that people do not have personal faith in God, but nobody said so.

3. Hollywood is dominated by white people.

I was surprised at the lack of ethnic diversity of people on stage and nominated for awards. Almost all of the producers and technical people were caucasian (even if European), and even most of the actors were also white.

4. Increasingly, anything goes.

Seth MacFarlane was not my favorite choice for host, and he showed why. The “Boobs” number was highly inappropriate and uncomfortable, especially with my 6 and 4 year-old daughters in the room. Many other off-color jokes followed. Definitely not a family friendly move, and MacFarlane has been drawing wider criticism for his approach.

5. The Presidency has become more about celebrity than governing.

What a surprise (but not really) to see Michelle Obama announce Best Picture. While it’s hard to imagine Ann Romney or Laura Bush being asked to play this role, it seems to fit with Obama’s approach to the Presidency. Though he is terribly ineffective as a leader (even to accomplish his own agenda), he remains a very popular celebrity.

Published by Luke Simmons

I was born and raised in Denver, CO and lived there through high school. Then I moved to Champaign, IL where I attended the University of Illinois and played on the Fighting Illini baseball team. I was married in December, 2001 to Molly, who I met at the U of I. In June of 2002, we moved to Phoenix and have been here ever since.

4 thoughts on “5 Observations From the Oscars

  1. Appreciated all of these observations – particularly the ones celebrating diversity of gifts and acknowledging the ethnic exclusivity of Hollywood.

    Except #5.

    Michelle is not Barack. Just like pro-gay marriage Laura and Cindy aren’t W or John. Barack didn’t present at the Oscars. Michelle did.

    By no means would I suggest the two are mutually exclusive, but they are not interchangeable – just like you and your wife aren’t. Popularity surveys of America confirm this as many who did not vote for him still like her.

    Don’t know how you tied Michelle (who is not president) presenting at the Oscars to your view of Barack’s governing, but I think the clearest connection would still be a leap.

  2. It may be a leap. It just struck me that when she appeared at the White House with military personnel behind her like props she seemed to be leaning into the Presidency as a whole, not just herself. Might have felt different if she had just come to Hollywood in person to present.

    1. Could that have been connected to the winner of the Best Picture, which the Iranian media has already interpreted as a very pro-America anti-Iran statement?

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