Hollywood Worries Anti-Americanism, Iraq War Backlash will Impact Golden Globes, Oscars

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Golden Globes Awards spin Anti-American angle, industry leaders tell entertainment newsmagazine Hollywood Today. They worry the Iraq war backlash may also affect Oscars.

Awards-season paranoia in Hollywood is growing over worries that Anti-Americanism and Iraq War backlash may also affect Oscars. That fear was stoked when Golden Globe nominations failed to include 9-11 contenders, especially critical darling "United 93" - which in normal years would be a likely Oscar contender.

Philip Berk, president of Golden Globe nominating body Hollywood Foreign Press Association, denied any Anti-Americanism and said that while he personally thought "United 93" was "possibly the best film of the year," his members were just "reluctant" to see it. "It had nothing to do with any kind of prejudice," he told entertainment newsmagazine Hollywood Today (http://www.hollywoodtoday.net ).

In the Los Angeles Times coverage of the nominations, which snidely referring to the Globes as "Oscar's sillier cousin," a sidebar by staff reporter Rachel Abramowitz was headlined: "Yankees go home…without a lot of Globe prospects." The story said "there might be some films that are a little too U.S.-centric for members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association."

That was followed by a quote from Steve Golin, producer of "Babel" which was the big winner on Globe nom day: "There is an anti-American backlash out there, and people are looking for movies that are not U.S.-centric."

No movie's award season prospects are more threatened by a backlash than "United 93," which is an American story but a British production. It was the first major feature to tackle the tough subject of Sept. 11, even as some critics said it was still too early to open those wounds five years after the traumatizing event. It remains among the best reviewed, most critically acclaimed movies of the year, making most critics top ten lists.

The creators of "United 93" and execs at Universal Pictures declined through their reps to comment for this report, as did everyone associated with another possible Oscar contender, "World Trade Center," Oliver Stone's best picture in years.

"Please don't quote me by name," begged one producer, who had only returned my call because of a long friendship.

His concern is that anything he might say could hurt his picture's chances with Oscar voters. The usual Oscar season paranoia is amp'd up this year because lurking just beneath the surface is a virulent strain of anti-Americanism, which could easily lead to comments being taken out of context and misinterpreted by one side or another.

Read the rest of this piece on Anti-Americanism and the 2007 Award Season: "Will it Affect the Oscars?" in entertainment newsmagazine Hollywood Today at http://www.hollywoodtoday.net

Written by award-winning journalist and best-selling author Alex Ben Block, who has been editor of The Hollywood Reporter and TV Times as well as associate editor of Forbes Magazine.

Permission to re-print or rebroadcast granted provided Hollywood Today in credited and web address url is listed whenever possible.

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