Copyright © 2002 by Guerrilla Girls
THE ANATOMICALLY CORRECT OSCAR
A billboard at Highland and Melrose in Hollywood, March 1-31, 2002
Presented by the Guerrilla Girls and Alice Locas, a group of film makers
We decided it was time for a little realism in Hollywood, so we erected a billboard at Melrose and Highland in Los Angeles where for the month of March, 2002 we presented THE ANATOMICALLY CORRECT OSCAR. We redesigned the old boy so he more closely resembled the white males who take him home each year! We got a lot of attention, from as far away as Europe and Australia, most of it very sympathetic. And guess what: at the Academy Awards Ceremony on March 25, Halle Berry became the first ever African-American woman to win Best Actress and Denzel Washington the second ever African-American man to win Best Actor. We're very happy about that, but the film industry still has a long way to go.
Did you know that no woman has ever won the Oscar for Best Director, and that only two have ever been nominated? That 94% of the writing awards have gone to men? Or that only 3% of all the acting awards--lead and supporting--have ever gone to people of color.
Why are women and people of color shunned by Oscar? Because they're shunned by the film industry. Hollywood likes to think of itself as cool, edgy and ahead of its time, but it actually lags way behind the rest of society in employing women and people of color in top positions. 96% of major films are directed by males. No woman has ever won an Oscar for Cinematography or Sound. Even 85% of the make-up awards have gone to men.
Sure, it's great that three African-Americans were nominated for Acting Awards this year (for the first time in 30 years.) Meanwhile, Latinos account for only 5% of movie roles, Asians 2%, Native Americans .02%. Female actors get only 25% of starring roles. And the role of the wife in A Beautiful Mind (for which Jennifer Connelly received Best Supporting Actress) was whitewashed: the real woman was a Latina, born in El Salvador. In the movie she was ethnicless and accentless.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT OUR BILLBOARD:
We've received many, many letters and lots of press about our billboard. There were articles in The Los Angeles Times, The Sunday Herald, London, BBC Online, Salon, Indiewire, New Times, L.A., Adweek, Rockgrrl, The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, The List, Edinborough and lots of others. We were on Access Hollywood, NBC-TV, CBS-TV and many radio shows, from Feminist Magazine on KPFK-LA to Larry Elder's drive time talk radio show on KABC-LA. Even the conservative call-in shows were supportive--turns out Republicans hate Hollywood even more than they hate feminism!