Just over 48 hours have passed since Meryl Streep used the stage at the Golden Globes, where she received a Lifetime Achievement award, to take down Donald Trump (without mentioning him by name), with the President-elect responding a few hours later on Twitter. (You can see both Streep’s speech and Trump’s response right here). It was the most overtly political moment of the awards season so far, and the thinkpieces have been flying fast and furious, but with the Oscars looming, it might surprise you that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences are like the Switzerland of entertainment bodies.
Deadline reminds everyone that the Academy has a by-law that expressly forbids the group from collectively taking a stand on any issue, whether it’s Trump policies or when city hall changes garbage pick-up from evenings to morning, and it completely fucks up your schedule. Here’s what the by-law says:
As the Academy is non-political, it shall take no part in public issues regarding economic, political or religious issues, and neither the Board of Governors nor any group nor individual representing the Academy shall undertake to represent the political or religious views of the Academy membership or, as representing the Academy.
So, what does that mean in practice? Don’t expect an Oscar show that will have any kind of anti-Trump cold open or Academy head Cheryl Boone Isaacs saying anything remotely controversial on the red carpet, but celebs are free to use the Oscar stage to either accept a trophy, talk about the perils of climate change, or both. At any rate, it’ll be interesting to see what tone the Oscars take a month after Trump’s inauguration, and if we’ll get another Streep-esque moment.
The Oscars will air on February 26th.