Priest blasts Oscars for honoring Spotlight

Spotlight castThe Oscar for this year’s Best Picture may have been bestowed upon Spotlight during Sunday’s ceremony, but Father Robert Sirico isn’t rejoicing.

The priest, who writes for the New York Times and has created controversy over his political and cultural commentary in the past, called the Academy’s decision to honor Spotlight with the evening’s most coveted prize, “a contradiction.”

He pointed to the Academy’s history for evidence.

When speaking of Spotlight, Father Robert said, “It covers a scandal that took place in the very year that the Academy Awards awarded…Roman Polanski, who is a child molester.”

Roman was charged and convicted with drugging and raping 13-year-old Samantha Geimer (then Samantha Gailey) in 1977 at Jack Nicholson‘s Mulholland Drive home.

The director was exiled from America in 1978 but continued filmmaking abroad, eventually winning the Best Director Oscar in 2003 for his 2002 film The Pianist.

When Roman’s name was read aloud during the show, the crowd broke out in uproarious applause and gave the absent director a standing ovation.

The Boston Globe‘s “Spotlight” team ran its story, which exposed cases of child molestation perpetrated by Boston priests within the Catholic Church, in 2002.

Father Robert said the church “has done many things to repent,” but wonders when Hollywood will atone.

Aside from its Best Picture victory, Spotlight also won Best Original Screenplay and was nominated in four other categories. ~Matthew Pariselli

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Comments & Discussion

  1. Linda • March 3, 2016 @ 10:18 AM

    Nice attempt to move the Spotlight…but this film lights is squarely where it belongs.

  2. Cynthia • March 3, 2016 @ 10:21 AM

    For a very long time I have wondered why Hollywood has never held Roman Polanski accountable. They still appear in his movies, even though they have to travel overseas to film them because he’s a fugitive, never having served his time for being a child rapist. They also nominate him for awards. I guess people in showbusiness mostly have no morals or standards. They’re certainly letting Bryan Singer get away with (alleged) multiple rapes of numerous boys without batting an eye. The only person being held accountable for his crimes is Bill Cosby, and he (allegedly) raped adults. Maybe that’s the difference.

  3. Richard • March 3, 2016 @ 10:25 AM

    The church has secrets just like everyone else. They’re not perfect !!!

  4. Debbie Browne • March 3, 2016 @ 10:44 AM

    If you haven’t already noticed,the Hollywood crowd is fickle, their memory short, and their values seasonal. That’s why we love them!

  5. chacalcdn • March 3, 2016 @ 11:22 AM

    Roman was charged and convicted.
    The priests and fathers, they were transferred to other parish and schools to keep molesting and abuse AGAIN and AGAIN.
    So if ATONNEMENT is due I believe the CHURCH IS LONG OVERDUE.

  6. Mack • March 3, 2016 @ 11:29 AM

    Cynthia, you are so right! – they also continue to cast Alec Baldwin who is a real piece of work when it comes to parenting (and the way he treated his CHILD)- but totally threw Mel Gibson to the wolves for accusing Jews of Killing Jesus…

    so, as long as you stick to being a piece of S#@T to just children… you can still work in Hollywood.

    Richard – uh…. the Spotlight story showed that 6% of priests are child molesters (around the world). that’s a little more than “Not Perfect”. CHILD MOLESTERS. I’m sure the priest was unhappy about the movie!

  7. Jessie • March 3, 2016 @ 12:57 PM

    What would you like to see done prosecute the priests, prosecute Polanski ok remember he without sin should not throw the stone Spotlight should never have been lauded do the movie stars think they are above reproach I don’t think so most of them have secrets also I would never have applauded a movie like spotlight it is inappropriate enough said.

  8. CDubya • March 3, 2016 @ 1:52 PM

    It’s just a film about the story of what happened. Whether or not the audience at the Academy awards gave a standing ovation or not seems irrelevant. Their supposed to be objective and respect the body of work presented to them at that time of nomination. This is a true story based on what happened with priests and kids. It was about uncovering that story and making it public. Ummmm quite a few movies have done this over the years and if a priest is upset, then screen members of the almighty clergy better! Sure they aren’t perfect, but aren’t they supposed to represent God, who apparently is perfect? Now that’s a topic that’s been around since forever plus a weekend and needs to somehow get fixed. This one movie was not the issue and did not suddenly bring child molestation to light. Stop defending the broken church, and FIX IT!

  9. Jenny • March 3, 2016 @ 11:02 PM

    Polanski never served time, he ran like the coward that he is

  10. Robert • February 17, 2017 @ 12:53 PM

    Roman was charged and convicted.

    he ran… ha has yet to actually serve even 1 day of his sentence..
    he shouldn’t be awarded for anything.

    he should be blacklisted, and anything he makes should be banned from being played in theaters

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