by Alex Poletti
Photo by Noel West/New York Times
Another Academy Awards ceremony has come and gone, and as usual not without its controversies. Aside from a questionable speech from Joaquin Phoenix and a few less-than-interesting presenters, the biggest story was a surprise upset in the Best Picture category, with Bong Joon-Ho’s Korean-language “Parasite” winning over the 1996 blockbuster hit “Space Jam.”
“I think it’s a real travesty that we can’t award the best film of 1996 at tonight’s festivities,” director Joe Pytka says. “You think after all these years, they’d figure it out, but I guess not.”
The hype for “Parasite,” which won the Palme d’Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, has built up steadily over the past few weeks, culminating in the surprise victory at the 92nd Academy Awards. It made history as the first non-English language film to win the biggest prize, but did so at the cost of “Space Jam,” the beloved ‘90s classic featuring Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan.
“You would hope that the best film of the year is a true reflection of the time,” film critic for the New York Times A.O. Scott says. “And no film shined a light on the problems of 2019 like ‘Space Jam,’ which tackled pressing issues like Michael Jordan’s first retirement and the late-’80s revival of the ‘Looney Tunes.’ What is ‘Parasite’ about? The increasing socioeconomic inequality of South Korea, which mirrored the problems with late capitalism in the US and the lack of hope in the Trump era?”
“Space Jam,” though technically ineligible for any awards at the 2020 ceremony on account of its coming out over 20 years ago, was also snubbed in a host of other categories, notably for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.
“In a year where there wasn’t a lot of diversity, it’s insulting to see Michael [Jordan]’s name off the list of nominees,” co-star Bugs Bunny says. “And none of this Michael B. Jordan-shit. I’m talking about the real deal. To overlook a black man who also happens to be a successful basketball player in an outstanding performance he gave 20 years ago is criminal.”
Bunny also had some choice words to say about his own loss to Brad Pitt, who won the first Oscar of his illustrious career for his work on Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”
“Brad Pitt gets an Oscar for being shirtless during some of the movie,” the famous cartoon rabbit starts, “yet I’m fully naked for the majority of ‘Space Jam’ and I get no hardware to show for it? It really shows the double standards in Hollywood these days.”
*This article is a work of satire. Though certain elements and quotes may be based on true events, this should not be taken as fact.