The highest-grossing documentary of the year, “2016: Obama’s America,” has been snubbed for the Oscar — leading its producer to charge political bias because it is so critical of President Barack Obama.
"Dinesh warned me this might happen," Gerald Molen, the Oscar-winning producer of “Schindler’s List” who also produced “2016,” told the Hollywood Reporter. He was referring to film co-writer and director Dinesh D’Souza. "The action confirms my opinion that the bias against anything from a conservative point of view is dead on arrival in Hollywood circles.
“The film’s outstanding success means that America went to see the documentary in spite of how Hollywood feels about it," Molen said.
2016 — based on D’Souza’s book, “The Roots of Obama's Rage” — earned $33.4 million at the domestic box office. It takes a critical view of President Obama and his presidency.
But its omission on Monday from the list of the 15 documentaries the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would advance in the voting process makes it ineligible for an Oscar, according to the Reporter.
The film grossed more than the other 15 documentaries combined.
"I want to thank the Academy for not nominating our film,” D’Souza jokingly told the Reporter. "By ignoring “2016,” the top-performing box-office hit of 2012, and pretending that films like “Searching for Sugar Man” and “This Is Not a Film” are more deserving of an Oscar, our friends in Hollywood have removed any doubt average Americans may have had that liberal political ideology, not excellence, is the true standard of what receives awards."
Besides “Sugar Man” and “Not a Film” — the 2012 documentaries the Academy has deemed Oscar-worthy are “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry,” “Bully,” “Chasing Ice,” “Detropia,” “Ethel,” “5 Broken Cameras,” “The Gatekeepers,” “The House I Live In,” “How to Survive a Plague,” “The Imposter,” “The Invisible War,” “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God,” and “The Waiting Room.”
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