Everyone in the know is well aware that there’s no love lost between the republican President Donald Trump and the Oscar officials and promoters. We are also all well informed about the president’s vindictive side where he just can not let go of even the most insignificant of slights.
The latest dust-off between President Trump and those who participate in the Oscar events had to do with his criticisms of Spike Lee’s speech who never mentioned the president by name, but it was obvious that Mr. Lee was referring to the president’s racist leanings.
This ends up being an important tell because he is the only one in the White House who would give a hoot as to how the Oscars are managed. But somehow the (DOJ) US Department of Justice’s Attorney General facilitated/ approved a letter by one of his offices to Ms. Dawn Hudson, CEO of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to exert influence over any rules’ changes.
This is the same attorney general that ‘We the People’ are supposed to give the benefit of the doubt regarding his claims that he intendeds to be as transparent as possible as he redacts the FBI’s 3/22/2019 / 400 page plus final report regarding its 22 month long Trump-Russia probe led by the Special Counsel Robert Mueller III.
My question as reflected on the 4/2/2019 MSNBC Lawrence O’Donnell show, “what is the DOJ’s Attorney General William Barr’s office doing acting as a lackey for President Trump when he’s supposed to be representing the public welfare and the interests of the American peoples?”
As per a 2/25/ 2019 Peoples’ report, “Donald Trump Calls Spike Lee’s Oscar Speech About 2020 Election a ‘Racist Hit on Your President” by Maria Pasquini, “Donald Trump didn’t appreciate how Spike Lee ended his Oscars speech by encouraging others to “do the right thing” during the upcoming 2020 presidential election.”
“In his only mention of the 2019 Academy Awards online, Trump slammed the BlacKkKlansman director, whose film won Best Adapted Screenplay at Sunday night’s ceremony.”
“Without specifically mentioning the president by name, Lee, 61, ended his acceptance speech by pointing out that “the 2020 presidential election is right around the corner.”
“Let’s all mobilize. Let’s all be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate. Let’s do the right thing!” he said.”
“In response, Trump tweeted that it would “be nice if Spike Lee could read his notes, or better yet not have to use notes at all, when doing his racist hit on your President.”
“Trump went on to claim that he’s “done more for African Americans (Criminal Justice Reform, Lowest Unemployment numbers in History, Tax Cuts, etc.) than almost any other Pres!”
As per a 4/2/ 2019 Variety report, “Justice Department Warns Academy Over Potential Oscar Rule Changes Threatening Netflix (EXCLUSIVE)” by Ted Johnson,“The Justice Department has warned the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that its potential rule changes limiting the eligibility of Netflix and other streaming services for the Oscars could raise antitrust concerns and violate competition law.”“According to a letter obtained by Variety, the chief of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, Makan Delrahim, wrote to AMPAS CEO Dawn Hudson on March 21 to express concerns that new rules would be written “in a way that tends to suppress competition.”
“In the event that the Academy — an association that includes multiple competitors in its membership — establishes certain eligibility requirements for the Oscars that eliminate competition without procompetitive justification, such conduct may raise antitrust concerns,” Delrahim wrote.”
“The letter came in response to reports that Steven Spielberg, an Academy board member, was planning to push for rules changes to Oscars eligibility, restricting movies that debut on Netflix and other streaming services around the same time that they show in theaters. Netflix made a big splash at the Oscars this year, as the movie “Roma” won best director, best foreign language film and best cinematography.”
“An Academy spokesperson said, “We’ve received a letter from the Dept. of Justice and have responded accordingly. The Academy’s Board of Governors will meet on April 23 for its annual awards rules meeting, where all branches submit possible updates for consideration.”
Delrahim cited Section 1 of the Sherman Act that “prohibits anti-competitive agreements among competitors.”
“Accordingly, agreements among competitors to exclude new competitors can violate the antitrust laws when their purpose or effect is to impede competition by goods or services that consumers purchase and enjoy but which threaten the profits of incumbent firms,” Delrahim wrote.”
“He added, “if the Academy adopts a new rule to exclude certain types of films, such as films distributed via online streaming services, from eligibility for the Oscars, and that exclusion tends to diminish the excluded films’ sales, that rule could therefore violate Section 1.”
“Spielberg’s concerns over the eligibility of movies on streaming platforms have triggered intense debate in the industry. Netflix responded on Twitter early last month with the statement, “We love cinema. Here are some things we also love. Access for people who can’t always afford, or live in towns without, theaters. Letting everyone, everywhere enjoy releases at the same time. Giving filmmakers more ways to share art. These things are not mutually exclusive.”
“Spielberg told ITV News last year that Netflix and other streaming platforms have boosted the quality of television, but “once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie. … If it’s a good show—deserve an Emmy, but not an Oscar.”
“The letter reflects concerns that the Justice Department has been concerned about the ability of traditional media outlets to limit competition from new streaming video entrants, even those that have grown significantly in recent years like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Those concerns were touched upon in the AT&T-Time Warner transaction and later trial, and also were part of a consent decree reached to clear the Comcast-NBC Universal transaction in 2011. The latter included provisions that governed how the company treated online video distributors, but those conditions expired last year.”
March 21, 2019 Via U.S. and Electronic Mail Ms. Dawn Hudson Chief Executive Officer Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 8949 Wilshire Boulevard Beverly Hills, CA 90211 Re: Potential Eligibility Rule Changes for the Academy Awards Dear Ms. Hudson: The Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (the “Division”) has learned through news reporting that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences(the “Academy”) may consider proposed rules changes limiting eligibility for the Academy Awards (the “Oscars”). The Division writes to draw your attention to its concerns that may arise if the Academy implements certain restrictions in a way that tends to suppress competition. In the event that the Academy—an association that includes multiple competitors in its membership—establishes certain eligibility requirements for the Oscars that eliminate competition without procompetitive justification, such conduct may raise antitrust concerns. Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, prohibits anticompetitive agreements among competitors. Accordingly, agreements among competitors to exclude new competitors can violate the antitrust laws when their purpose or effect is to impede competition by goods or services that consumers purchase and enjoy but which threaten the profits of incumbent firms. See Nw. Wholesale Stationers, Inc. v. Pac. Stationery & Printing Co., 472 U.S. 284, 294-97 (1985) (agreements to expel a competitor from a cooperative association may violate the Sherman Act). If the Academy adopts a new rule to exclude certain types of films, such as films distributed via online streaming services, from eligibility for the Oscars, and that exclusion tends to diminish the excluded films’ sales, that rule could therefore violate Section 1. The Division is committed to enforcing the nation’s antitrust laws on behalf of American consumers, and appreciates your attention to the Division’s concerns as you consider any changes to the eligibility requirements for the Oscars.
Link: Justice Department Warns Academy Over Potential Oscar Rule ...