Michelle Obama Oscars 2013 appearance draws criticism. First Lady has come under heavy fire after Best Picture appearance
(NVOnews.com) The First Lady Michelle Obama’s surprise appearance in the Best Picture polarized experts as well as common viewers.
Renowned film reviewer and writer Richard Brody wrote on the website of the New Yorker “though I’m a great admirer of the First Lady, I found Michelle Obama’s appearance to open the Best Picture envelope, accompanied by the gold-braided honor guard behind her, wildly inappropriate in its affirmation of the hard power behind the soft power—the connection of real politics to the representational politics of the movies, of the peculiar and long-standing symbiosis of Washington and Hollywood—all the more so when the matter of access to inside-government information is a key issue with the making of Zero Dark Thirty.”
On the other hand Washington Post’s political blogger Jennifer Rubin was much more blunt in her view.
“It is not enough that President Obama pops up at every sporting event in the nation,” she wrote. “Now the First Lady feels entitled, with military personnel as props, to intrude on other forms of entertaining (this time for the benefit of the Hollywood glitterati who so lavishly paid for her husband’s election),” wrote the conservative columnist.
Actress Kerry Washington, a supporter of President Obama, however, had a message posted on her Twitter account indicating that the First Lady’s Oscar presence had only added to the charm of the evening.
Assistant Editor at Breitt’s Big Hollywood, Christian Toto, wrote: “It seemed inappropriate if you’re a film fan or a conserviatve or both like I am.” “She doesn’t have any direct connection to Hollywood, so there’s no real reason to give her the plummest gig of the evening.
“It reinforces the perception that Hollywood leans towards the left––there’s no way that this would have happened with Laura Bush giving out the night’s biggest award.”
But Laura Bush was involved in the 2002 Oscar telecast. It was a taped soundbite that appeared during an homage to movies.
Similarly the then President Ronald Reagan did tape a greeting for the 1981 Oscars. But conservatives are quick to defend by pointing out that he was a member of the Academy long before he joined politics.
Long back Democrat President Franklin Delano Roosevelt addresses the 1941 Academy Awards by radio from the White House.
It is not just political rivals who were critical of First Lady’s appearance.
“As if Hanoi Jane wasn’t fuel enough,” wrote Deadline.com founder Nikki Finke on her site. She compared Michelle to the appearance by former anti-Vietnam activist Jane Fonda to Hanoi during the heydays of war in 1972.
“Oh My God––the Academy actually fans the fire by drafting First Lady Michelle Obama to help present Best Picture from presumably the White House? So unnecessary and inappropriate to inject so much politics into the Oscars yet again.”