President Trump's Take on Parasite Echoes an Old Debate Over the Role of Non-American Films at the OscarsBreaking News
tags: Oscars, cultural history, Trump, Parasite
Nostalgia has been a regular theme at rallies for President Donald Trump since before he was elected — he is, after all, the man who wants to make America great again. On Thursday night, at a rally in Colorado Springs, Trump directed that sentiment at the movie industry, dismissing the South Korean film Parasite, which won this year’s Oscar for Best Picture.
“We’ve got enough problems with South Korea with trade; on top of it, they give it the best movie of the year,” Trump said. “Let’s get Gone With The Wind. Can we get Gone With The Wind back please? Sunset Boulevard, so many great movies. ‘The winner is, from South Korea…’ I thought it was best foreign film, best foreign movie. No! Did this ever happen before?”
Trump’s praise of Gone with the Wind raised some eyebrows. The history-making 1939 movie was one of the earliest blockbusters; in fact, when adjusted for inflation, it’s still considered the highest-grossing film of all-time. While still considered an important Hollywood milestone and beloved by many cinephiles, the Confederate-friendly framing of its Civil War story makes it a prime example of “how deeply entrenched was the racism of Hollywood and its audiences,” TIME’s Richard Corliss once wrote. The movie also made Hattie McDaniel, who played Scarlett O’Hara’s enslaved maid, the first African-American to win an Oscar (Best Supporting Actress) — a prize she received in a segregated ceremony venue.
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