The Oscar-winning producer of this year's anti-Obama doc 2016 Obama's America is calling foul after the Academy released its Documentary Shortlist for Oscar consideration earlier this week.
Gerald Molen, who produced 1994's Schindler's List (with Steven Spielberg and Branko Lustig) won the Academy Award for Best Picture said political bias is to blame for 2016 not making the cut of 15 titles to advance to the next round.
Directed by Dinesh D'Souza, the pic took in a cool $33.44 million domestically, earning more at the box office than the 15 who did advance to Oscar-nomination eligibility combined. Molen, however, said D'Souza believed the Academy - which is criticized by conservatives of being largely liberally biased - might snub the doc.
"Dinesh warned me this might happen," Molen said with a laugh, according to THR. "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."
2016 Obama's America is not the only box office cash-cow that didn't make the short list for 2012. Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz's Katy Perry: Part of Me did not join the fifteen. Though not quite as successful as 2016, the Katy Perry movie did gross over $25.3 million domestically (and over $32 million worldwide).
Both D'Souza's 2016 and Michael Moore's 2004 not-so-subtle anti-Bush smash Fahrenheit 9/11 may indicate an emerging cinematic convention: Anti-presidential incumbent non-fictions turn out the crowds, but not the Oscar nominations. Fahrenheit outstripped 2016 at the box office, taking in over $119 million in 2004 dollars and it even scored the Cannes Palme d'Or that year. But it did not receive an Oscar nomination.
Still, the Oscar snub has caught the eire of its filmmakers and they're not above throwing a bit of light-hearted shade to some of those films that did make the list this week.
"I want to thank the Academy for not nominating our film,” D’Souza said. "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."