- Notwithstanding widely publicized claims by the United States’ Christian (far) Right, Hollywood has proven itself not all that “anti-Christian” this awards season.
- Mel Gibson’s blood-soaked and, in the opinion of some, anti-Jewish Jesus biopic The Passion of the Christ has been shortlisted by several Hollywood-based guilds and awards-season groups.
Is Hollywood ‘anti-Christian’? Despite dire awards-season warnings, The Passion of the Christ is a contender in several categories
Is Hollywood anti-Christian?
That seems to be one of the favorite mantras of the American Christian (far) Right. After all, in their – usually, but not always, implicit – view, “liberal” Hollywood is a town controlled by (anti-Christian) Jews.
Yet even a quick glance at the history of American cinema and television – or, for that matter, at this awards season’s list of nominees – would indicate that the claims of American right-wingers are, as they themselves must know, utterly false.
In all, their hand-wringing, hair-pulling, and gritting of teeth over a general awards-season snub of Mel Gibson’s blood-soaked – and controversial – sleeper blockbuster The Passion of the Christ has proved to be nothing more than good (free) publicity for their cause.
The Passion of the Christ in contention
For instance, included among this year’s five American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Award nominees in the feature film category was none other than veteran Caleb Deschanel for The Passion of the Christ.
How anti-Christian is that?
Other awards season nominations for Gibson’s Christian movie include the following (updated):
- Academy Awards: Best Cinematography, Music, and Makeup.
- Broadcast Film Critics Association’s Critics’ Choice Awards: Best Popular Movie.
- Motion Picture Sound Editors: In two categories.
- MTV Movie Awards: Best Male Performance (Jim Caviezel).
In addition, Mel Gibson was named the Satellite Awards’ Best Director.
That’s hardly an overwhelming number of nominations (or wins), but it’s also hardly as if The Passion of the Christ has been ignored this awards season.
Is Hollywood anti-gay, then?
Hell (no pun intended), Mel Gibson’s movie received more Oscar nominations than a number of more warmly received releases.
Examples include: Collateral, Being Julia, Maria Full of Grace, Before Sunset, A Very Long Engagement, The Sea Inside, House of Flying Daggers, Kinsey, and Bad Education.
In the cases of Bill Condon’s Kinsey and Pedro Almodóvar’s Bad Education – the latter was totally bypassed by the Oscars – could one then make the case that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, for one, is not nearly as anti-Christian as it is anti-gay?
“Is Hollywood ‘Anti-Christian’?” endnotes
American Society of Cinematographers website.
Jim Caviezel The Passion of the Christ image: Newmarket Films.
“Is Hollywood ‘Anti-Christian’? Awards Season Indicates ‘Not So Much’” last updated in July 2021.