Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

January 24, 2016

Festivals Extra: Comparing/Contrasting FIBD Grand Prix Problems With Oscars Boycott

The cartoonist and educator Matt Madden suggests there may be some insight to be found by contrasting the Academy Awards' efforts to deal with their boycott based on the paucity of nominees of color in acting categories and more generally with the FIBD's problems in finding a proper grand prix winner after an initial long-list of nominees came up with 30 women worth getting that nod.

I usually don't see similarities across media in these kinds of circumstances -- the culture are too different -- but I think there might be something to learn in the way the Academy has pledged to change the make-up of its voting blocs to better reflect the diversity of its membership and of working members of the various professions represented in the awards' mandate. It'd be nice if a similar eye was squinted in the direction of who votes for the grand prix, which doesn't sound representative the few times I've heard a figure bounced around. It's not a solution but it's the start of making something better.

One of the things that came up in the initial defense of the show is an assertion that the show itself is female-creator friendly; this was in contrast to I guess the unfriendliness that history forced upon the show or something. Seriously, though, there was a strong attempt to separate this controversy from the rest of the show. This would stand in contradiction to the general criticisms directed at the show for which this grand prix mess was a kind of hyper-intense example for a general disdain and poor treatment. Something to follow this week is to see if anything else that the show does makes enough noise to suffer a similar criticism, or if the show's undeniable attraction to so many creators and readers and industry kind of carries the general picture we get from this year's festival. I think attempts to do this historically were harmed by the interruption that was last year's ahistorical show.
posted 9:55 pm PST | Permalink

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