At a rally in Colorado Springs Thursday night, President Trump set his ire on the Oscars. He crankily jabbed at Bong Joon-ho’s Best Picture-winning Parasite, which became the first ever foreign language film to take home the top prize, along with Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Film nearly two weeks ago.
“By the way, how bad were the Academy Awards this year — did you see? 'And the winner is...a movie from South Korea.’ What the hell was that all about,” he asked midway through the rally. "We got enough problems with South Korea with trade. On top of it, they give them the best movie of the year? Was it good? I don't know."
Soon after, he called for the Academy to award films more like his favorites from more than 60 years ago, Gone With the Wind and Sunset Boulevard (which, fine, perfect movie.) “Let's get Gone With the Wind — can we get, like, Gone With the Wind back, please?” Without reducing films to their subject matter, he’d predictably be more interested in an antebellum romance set on a slave plantation or a noir about aging Hollywood stars than the Korean class war movie.
He also took aim at Brad Pitt, who said during his Best Supporting Actor acceptance speech that he was “given 45 more seconds than the Senate gave John Bolton” to testify during Trump’s impeachment hearings. “I was never a big fan of his. He got up and said a little wise guy statement, little wise guy,” Trump said.
Neon, the studio which distributed Parasite, quickly produced a reason for why Trump couldn't get past what Bong coined the "one inch tall barrier of subtitles":
Before he became the nucleus of American culture and dabbled in ethnic cleansing, Trump was just another Oscar vlogger. When his television diet was heavier on Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight than Fox News, he’d live-tweet the Oscars with takes on the winners, performances, production quality, and Sacha Baron Cohen dumping ashes on Ryan Seacrest. It was certainly a more harmless iteration of the broader Trump experience, and one that’s hard to imagine him returning to.
You sense that he very deeply wants to be welcomed back into this world, taking breaks from a Bloodsport rewatch to host the Oscars. Given Sean Spicer’s trip to the Emmys just months after leaving the White House and the ongoing rehabilitation of George W. Bush, he may eventually get his wish. But in the meantime, unleashing his Oscar takes on a packed arena will have to serve as a consolation prize.