Why is it that the film Crash is now widely ridiculed as a horrible Best Picture winner but the real embarrassment of its win is almost never mentioned? Crash was a film purported to be anti-racist but was, in fact, quite the opposite. The people being discriminated against were entirely passive, right down to the conclusions drawn at the end. Racist bitch Sandra Bullock learned something. Scumbag racist sexual assaulting cop Matt Dillon learned something. The guy who woulda murdered some people of a racial persuasion he didn’t care for in cold blood had his daughter not secretly switched his regular bullets for Taster’s Choice learned something. The bigots exercised all the personal agency in the film, right down to their respective “enlightenments” at the end. The human beings who were discriminated against were props.
Crash is an extraordinarily racist movie. And it only won Best Picture because a sizable number of voters used its fake “racism is bad” cred as cover for not wanting to give the award to a movie about two gay cowboys. Crash isn’t an embarrassment because it’s a lousy movie. The embarrassment is the fact that it’s win is the direct result of precisely the kind of bigotry it pretends to decry. Not acknowledging why it won gives the bigoted assholes responsible for its victory cover they don’t deserve.
Those homophobic Academy voters also learned something here. They learned that in our society, the appearance of being against bigotry is more important than actually not being a bigot. And thus far, no one has corrected them.
Dan Meadows is a writer living on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay. Follow him on Twitter @watershedchron