“Keep an open mind; but not so open your brains fall out.”

No one is quite sure who first said that but, hoo-boy, it’s the perfect admonition these days. Consider what the Hollywood elite plan to do to the Oscars. To get consideration for “Best Picture,” the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will mandate minimum standards for diversity and equity. By 2024, those movies that don’t have enough black, gay and disabled actors in them will be, well, blacklisted.

It’s another step into woke hell for the creative arts. No longer will the art of a movie be judged on what is actually “best,” but by what movies qualify to be considered “best” based on artificial criteria unrelated to the art form.

It is like marking down DaVinci’s Mona Lisa because of its frame. Or, rating the television mini-series “Yellowstone” not on the quality of the content, but by the TV it’s played on.

It’s insane.

Starting in 2024, producers will be required to submit a summation of the race, gender, sexual orientation, and disability status of members of their movie’s cast, crew and production vendors. If a particular movie does not have enough specially designated people working on the set, then that movie will not be eligible for Oscar consideration.

The new standards would have blacklisted “Nomadland,” the Best Picture in 2021, because it featured an all-white cast, even though it was directed by Asian filmmaker Chloé Zhao.

Among this year’s Best Picture nominees, the movies “Power of the Dog”, “Licorice Pizza”, and “Belfast” would probably have been dinged.

This year’s winner was “CODA,” an English remake of a French flick about a child of deaf adults. That’s a perfect winner for the Academy because it lacked originality and the storyline put the flick’s subject matter over the diversity bar.

Look, I’m not saying diversity is bad. All organizations should strive for it. I’m just speaking the truth, which is: The “best” motion picture should be judged on the actual movie.

Nothing more.


  • FYI: You pee on a jellyfish sting, not a jelly stain. Again, my apologies to the lady at the I-hop yesterday.
  • There is nothing like a little tomato soup to soothe the soul. Even if it is cold. Over ice. With a celery stalk. And vodka.
  • We grew up so poor all we had was 500 island dressing.

OK, that’ll do it for today. Until next week, avoid soreheads, laugh a little and always question authority

(Sherman Frederick is a Nevada Hall of Fame journalist and co-founder of Battle Born Media, a news organization dedicated to the preservation of community newspapers. You can reach him by email at shermfrederick@gmail.com.)