Sunday, February 22, 2009

nutty oscar mashup: jerry lewis. m.i.a., dancing with the stars, and the jonas brothers

In an effort to jazz the Oscar telecast this year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts is attempting a mash-up to include:
*Jerry Lewis (receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award)
*M.I.A. singing from a bed(nominated for Best Song O Saya from Slumdog Millionaire)
*Big dance number from network host ABC's Dancing With Stars cast members including Jewel, Lil' Kim, Steve Wozniak, Nancy Odell, and Lawrence Taylor.
*And to keep the pre-teen crowd up past their bedtime The Jonas Brothers will sing backup for no apparent reason.


Anonymous said...

Where are you watching this? Tonight oui? cha-cha-chappy

Anonymous said...

Actually, Lewis is not receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award. While I personally don't like his comedy, that award would at least be appropriate. What he's actually getting is the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, which would be funny if it weren't so tragic. It would be like ESPN giving Michael Vick an award for animal rights.
Lewis is receiving this award because of his 42 years of doing MDA telethons, yet those telethons have been a source of protest in the disability community for over 15 years. Not only have representatives of the gay community, such as media watchdog GLAAD, protested because of Lewis's frequent use of "fag," and caricatures of gay people, and feminists responded to Lewis's lifetime of sexist comments that reduce women to incompetent sex objects who are essentially baby machines, but disability rights activists have corresponded with Academy brass about this decision and submitted a petition with over 2600 signatures requesting the award be canceled. There have been protests outside AMPAS and the Kodak theater since Friday.
Indeed, the very work he's being honored for is an ongoing thorn in the side of the disability community. In the MDA telethons, Lewis uses outdated ideas of disability, portraying it as tragic, and people with disabilities as pitiable, life-long children. Lewis is well aware that many people with disabilities -- including those who were "poster children" for the telethons themselves -- feel his tactics promote prejudicial attitudes towards disabled people that hurt, not help.
Being pitied is, above all, dehumanizing; one ceases being a person and becomes an object of fear and "otherness." Members of the disability rights community tried to dialogue with him about changing his tactics to promote respect instead, but Lewis has responded with shocking venom. When reaching out to Lewis brought only derision, activists turned to protests. When defending his use of pity as the best marketing ploy for raising money, Lewis said to a Telethon protester during a 2001 television interview: "Pity? You don't want to be pitied because you're a cripple in a wheelchair? Stay in your house!" Photos, video, and updates on the protests this weekend as well as information on Lewis's past interactions with the disability rights community can be found at
It will be interesting to see how Hollywood and audiences react, once they know the full story behind Jerry Lewis's so-called "humanitarian" efforts. Personally, I'm hoping for a silent audience, no clapping, no misty-eyed standing O. Some "boo"s would be great, too!

Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. said...

Come on. You think Hollywood and audiences can stay still long enough for, as you like to say, the full story? Answer. Jerry's been doing telethons for 42 years and the only story you might hear tonight are some bitter pills from Jerry to industry types who don't pony up enough to firefighters holding boots during labor day.

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