President Donald Trump mocked the Academy Awards for giving its best picture Oscar to Parasite, expressing bewilderment to a rally crowd in Colorado that a foreign language movie could get the top award.
“By the way, how bad were the Academy Awards this year, do you see? And the winner is, a movie from South Korea. What the hell was all that about? We got enough problems with South Korea, on trade, and on top of it they give it the best movie of the year. Was it good?’
Then he added, “Let’s get Gone with the Wind…Can we get Gone with the Wind back, please?” That was the best picture winner in 1940, 80 years ago. “Sunset Boulevard. So many great movies.”
Then Trump pretended to be an Oscar presenter. “‘The winner is, from South Korea,’ he said in his rally shtick. “I thought it was best foreign film, right? Best foreign movie. No. Did this ever happen before.”
Neon, the distributor of Parasite, tweeted out a reaction to Trump’s criticism: “Understandable, he can’t read.”
Parasite won best international feature film and best picture, as well as directing and screenplay Oscars. It was the first non-English language movie to win best picture.
Trump has previously criticized the Academy Awards. When the wrong best picture winner was read in 2017, Trump told Breitbart News that it was because “they were focused so hard on politics that they didn’t get the act together at the end.”
Trump also singled out Brad Pitt as someone who was “a little wiseguy.” He said that he was never a fan of the actor.
After winning best supporting actor for Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood, Pitt told the audience at the Oscars “They told me I only have 45 seconds up here, which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week.”
Trump’s criticisms of the Academy Awards contrast with his predecessors, who have either ignored the ceremony or who have participated in it. Franklin D. Roosevelt opened the ceremony in 1941 with an address from the White House, while Ronald Reagan gave a taped speech to the Oscar audience in 1981. First Lady Michelle Obama presented the best picture Oscar from the White House in 2013, and Vice President Joe Biden introduced a performance from Lady Gaga in 2016.
The Democratic National Committee also weighed in on Trump’s criticism of the Oscars. “Parasite is a foreign movie about how oblivious the ultra-rich are about the struggles of the working class, and it requires two hours of reading subtitles. Of course Trump hates it.”