‘Shame’ Director Claims Academy Snubbed Michael Fassbender Because of America is “Too Scared of Sex”

Though I love movies enough to spend my free time writing about them (though the comped tickets and free popcorn helps), I tend to find the drama surrounding who was “snubbed” by various award shows — particularly the Oscars — far more interesting than the award shows themselves.

Still, though legendary Oscar-winner George C. Scott once called the ceremony ” a goddamn meat parade,” the Oscars are still very important to those who are nominated — and often those who are not.  One notable filmmaker speaking out is Steve McQueen (not the macho icon who himself was nominated for an Oscar), the British writer/director of Shame, who has a theory why his film’s lead actor, Michael Fassbender, was not nominated for Best Actor.

Shame proudly wore its NC-17 rating on its sleeve, and features a lot of scenes with Fassbender nude, whose character has an addiction to sex.  McQueen believes the very nature of the role is what prevented Fassbender from being nominated, pointing out, “In America, they’re too scared of sex, that’s why he wasn’t nominated. If you look at the best actor list, you’re saying, ‘Michael Fassbender is not on the list?'”  McQueen went on to call Fassbender “a once in a generation actor.  He’s an actor who can transform and transcend, and you actually believe him, so that’s the kind of guy that he is.”

However, it’s worth noting that Fassbender was nominated for best actor awards by a number of American-based award ceremonies, including the Golden Globes and the National Board of Review, so perhaps the problem lies with the Academy’s voters, not America.  With recent reports from the Los Angeles Times revealing that the median age of the Academy members is 62, some have suggested that more racy content is often ignored in favor of “safer” fare.  Perhaps McQueen is on to something?


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