American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis called out Black Panther’s Oscar nomination for Best Picture describing it as a “huge fatuous inclusivity and diversity push.”
Ellis spoke on his podcast “Low Key” on January 17th before the Oscar nominations were revealed. However, he accurately predicted Black Panther would be nominated for Best Picture and discussed his thoughts on the film as well as Disney and Marvel Studios’ push to get it an Oscar nomination.
“No superhero movie has ever gotten a Best Picture nomination. But believe me, Disney is doing everything in its power to make sure this happens. Even though there is no one out here in La La Land I’ve met who thinks ‘Black Panther’ is that good as a movie. Yet, as a piece of representation, they are supporting it.”
The author wasn’t done pointing the finger. He also took aim at the media for feeding people what he calls “fake news” about the film being a “grand” piece of art.
“The entertainment press and the studio is selling the notion that ‘Black Panther’ is a grand piece of cinematic art that cannot be ignored. And this notion is being shoved down our throats and we can only smile in disbelief. Or perhaps understand that this is just the moment we’re trapped in. A joke, a hoax. It’s all fake news, folks.”
Ellis then goes on to explain why he believes Black Panther was nominated for a Best Picture by the Academy. He points to the culture the Oscars are promoting.
“Representation is so important to them. And with a huge fatuous inclusivity and diversity push. What the most flattering pose might be in the moment — as if inclusivity and diversity have anything to do with awarding a movie’s merits. Yes, this is the culture the Oscars are pushing, and it is rather nauseating.”
Ellis has made similar remarks before. He criticized the idea of a Best Popular Picture category specifically being created so Black Panther could win an Academy Award.
If The Oscars insist on a dumb Best Popular Picture category (so Black Panther can win something) then they must return to only FIVE NOMINEES for the BEST PICTURE category. Only two-three movies a year are barely worthy but does AMPAS really want to nominate a potential TWENTY? pic.twitter.com/Uq4YV4ynCF
— Bret Easton Ellis (@BretEastonEllis) August 10, 2018
On one point I have to agree with Ellis. When I first heard of the news that Black Panther was nominated for the top prize at the Oscars, I thought it had to be a hoax. The movie isn’t terrible, but it felt very incomplete and not one of Marvel’s best. Thor: Ragnarok which came out a few months earlier in my view was a much superior film.
What do you think of the American Psycho author’s view? Is he correct that Black Panther just checked off all the correct political notes to be nominated? Or was it really that good of a film? Let me know what you think!