Casey Affleck's breakout performance in Manchester by the Sea has drawn attention back to the pair of sexual harassment lawsuits he settled out of court just a few years ago. Now, his Oscars nomination for Best Actor has redoubled the criticism levelled at the leading man. Fresh Off the Boat star Constance Wu is the latest to speak out, questioning the awards show in a series of tweets.
The Hollywood Reporter draws a parallel to the situation facing Birth of a Nation. Director Nate Parker saw his film shut out of awards nominations after allegations resurfaced that he had raped a young woman. Birth was widely expected to be a smash hit with a similar profile to 12 Years a Slave; Parker received a standing ovation before his movie was screened at Cannes. It subsequently received mixed reviews and failed to connect with audiences. Race surely played at least some part in Birth being ignored while Manchester collects accolades. And Wu is correct in that, now that our moral center has departed Washington, D.C., our entertainment must be held to a higher standard.