We already noted yesterday the tendentiousness of the “gender pay gap” theme that made an appearance at the Academy Awards Sunday night—an entertainment moment that seems to be reverberating like like Cady Stanton at Seneca Falls or something. (In his typically provocative way, Glenn Reynolds suggests Republicans pass a bill mandating equal salaries for men and women lead actors of equivalent billing in all Hollywood productions, and watch hilarity ensue. For one thing, I imagine George Clooney gripes about being paid less than Sandra Bullock for Gravity. Heh.)
Perhaps the best way to think about this is to view the following tart comment from screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky, a three-time winner of the Oscar for best screenplay, at the 1978 Academy Awards. Chayefsky followed a politicized acceptance speech about “Zionist hoodlums” from Vanessa Redgrave with this splendid smackdown, starting at the 0:50 mark in this 8 minute video (transcript below if you’re short of time):
Puts you in the frame of mind to recall one of his greatest lines from one of his screenplays: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more!” He didn’t. Wish we had someone like him at the Oscars this year.
“I would like to say, personal opinion, of course, that I’m sick and tired of people exploiting the Academy Awards for the propagation of their own personal political propaganda. I would like to suggest to Ms. Redgrave that her winning an Academy Award is not a pivotal moment in history, does not require a proclamation, and a simple ‘thank you’ would have sufficed.”