LOS ANGELES — “Fasten your seat belts: It’s going to be a bumpy night.”
That sassy chestnut, made famous by Bette Davis in the 1951 best-picture winner “All About Eve,” sums up the feeling in Hollywood heading into this year’s Oscars. Set for broadcast by ABC on Sunday night, the 89th Academy Awards telecast is expected to be a new flash point in the Trump-era culture wars.
There is no larger platform for liberal views than the Oscars stage — more than 100 million people watch worldwide — and some winners will undoubtedly use their moment of glory to rail against President Donald Trump and his policies, just as Meryl Streep did at the Golden Globes. In other words, expect the three-hour-plus telecast to move between frothy self-celebration and acrid finger-wagging.
Diversity scorecard-keeping could bring additional turbulence. After two years when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was attacked as racist for overlooking black actors and films about African-American experiences, the current nominee list is remarkably diverse. But if films with black leads (“Hidden Figures”) are ignored in favor of ones with white stars (“Manchester by the Sea”), a new #OscarSoWhite fire may ignite.
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