Man at His Best

Oscars On Thin Ice

How much does an actor's offscreen actions affect his prospects?

BY Joy Ling | Mar 3, 2018 | Film & TV

Image from Daily Mirror

We’ll spare the read and tell you the answer upfront. It’s hard to tell. With Golden Globes seemingly just yesterday, and the Oscars coming Monday, the Award buzz is hard to ignore. What’s harder to ignore though, are the many allegations girding Hollywood. The subject of sexual misconduct has plastered Harvey Weinstein across the web, culminating to the recent mock shrine set for the season.

While not involved in the drama, Gary Oldman, whose roles range from Sid Vicious, Dracula, Lee Harvey Oswald, to the nominated Winston Churchill, has a questionable past. The transformative actor was in the running six years ago for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and has all the right factors for a predicted win this year. He ticks the checkboxes of playing a non-fictional person, and being an esteemed actor who has yet to win an Oscar with his reputable archive of work. The odds are also working for Oldman considering other nominees in the category either having more opportunities ahead or having had won multiple times. Outside the accolades, the actor faces homophobic, anti-semitic slur and domestic abuse accusations. So yes, it’s difficult watching someone of such behaviour celebrated.

Then again, that’s like saying you should get never get a promotion even with stellar work achievements solely because you’ve say, made derogatory remarks to your friends. Of course, you may argue that actors are under the gaze of impressionable minds all over the world, and therefore have the responsibility to uphold certain moral standards. Even Americans themselves are divided in their stand on this. In TIME’s Oscars 2018 survey, respondents were torn between agreeing with whether allegations should impact chances of winning or not. Ultimately, despite prosthetics and fatsuits, it can be hard to separate the actor from his performance.

But fret not, you can tell your moral compass to ease up. The effects of social movements are increasingly tangible. The most pronounced #TimesUp and #MeToo callouts witnessed the blatant replacement of Kevin Spacey by Christopher Plummer in All The Money In The World, and James Franco dropped from the nominations. In other words, never underestimate these uprisings. And if you’re adamantly on the other flank of the fence, then we’d just have to wait and see Oscars’ favourite side.