Firebrand documentarian Michael Moore is no stranger to controversy, or to letting his opinions be known. He has faced plenty of criticism, even within our industry, famously getting booed on the Academy Awards stage during his 2003 acceptance speech for Bowling for Columbine, calling out George W. Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq.
Today, he's turned his condemnatory lens squarely on the Academy and the industry itself, with this striking Instagram image, which he calls "My poster of the 100 directors of the Best Picture of the Year for 100 years, 1916-2015."
Credit: Instagram: @michaelfmooreNotice anything, um, similar about these folks? Yeah, so did Moore. Never one to mince words, he begins his manifesto-like caption with this observation: "This is 100 years of abuse. Abuse = shutting down the voices of the majority gender so their stories don’t get told. This is the industry I work in. Shameful."
Moore goes on to claim that groups like the Women's March are holding more of a mirror up to Hollywood than ever before, with the proclamation "As Washington and Lafayette encircled and trapped the British at Yorktown, the old boy system in the film/TV/media business can no longer stand."
We would add that it's not just a lack of women that this image lays so bare, but a glaring absence of people of color. Again, Moore does not hold back: "Have you stopped for a minute to wonder why most films suck so bad these days? Same tired uninspired white dudes telling the same tired uninspired white dude stories over and over and over again. Borrrrring."
Although "the problem is staring right at you in this poster," Moore claims that "the solution is simple and unconditional and mandatory at this point." And it really is. Hire more women and POC, greenlight more women and POC, seek out and support the projects of more women and POC, and for goodness sake, don't turn a blind eye when you suspect that harassment or sexual misconduct is happening on your sets.
Although Moore excoriates the industry in his comments, he ends on a high note, stating "How ironic and how wonderful that, IMHO, the two best films of this past year were directed by a woman (Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird) and a black man (Jordan Peele for Get Out). And the next three are by a Mexican (Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water), a French woman (Agnes Varda for Faces Places) and a white dude...from Ireland (Martin McDonagh for 3 Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri).
We agree whole-heartedly with Moore's last words: More of THIS is a win for everyone.
Featured image from Clint Eastwood's 'Million Dollar Baby,' 2005 Academy Award winner for Best Picture.