Sunday, March 05, 2006

Another Oscar Snub for Star Trek

In their annual tribute to important figures in motion pictures who passed away the previous year, the Oscars failed to mention James Doohan, despite his 7 Star Trek films and appearances in (by my count) some 19 other movies in a nearly 50 year career.

This was an unpleasant echo of the snubbing of DeForest Kelley in the Oscar tribute for 1999. Kelley's movie career began in 1947, and his last film appearance (voice) was in 1998. Kelley's pre-Trek appearances in many westerns alone merited a mention.

Hollywood awards--especially the Oscars and Emmys--have a long record of ignoring Star Trek except for effects and technical categories. This is especially true of actors, who have never won a major award for their work on a Star Trek series or movie. That for example Patrick Stewart never got an Emmy nomination (even the year that Star Trek: The Next Generation became the only Star Trek to be nominated as Best Drama Series) remains both a mystery and a very sore point with Star Trek fans.

Michelle at Trek Today lists Star Trek alums among the nominated and the winners, noting that Marina Sirtis appears in Crash, which was awarded Best Picture. Actor Brock Peters (Star Trek VI, as well as Deep Space 9) and director Robert Wise (Star Trek: The Motion Picture) were mentioned in the memorial montage, though their Star Trek films were not referenced.

Nor was any shot from any of the ten Star Trek films included in the several minutes of montage of scenes in "epic" films of the past, though there were several from the first 3 Star Wars movies, as well as shots from ET, Back to the Future, Close Encounters, 2001, and Apollo 13.

Those who were mentioned in Sunday's Oscar tribute to those who died in 2005 included several producers, a makeup artist, a production designer and a re-recording mixer. But not the man who created a character known around the world: Scotty in Star Trek. Though the fate of his ashes going or not going into space creates headlines, James Doohan's contributions to Hollywood did not receive the respect he was due from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.


Anonymous said...

I was shocked and sadden to see they didn't put Jame Doohan there. If movies is to inspire people, few has outdone Mr. Doohan. Shame on Oscar and Academy!

GRAngeles said...

The Emmy and other awards organizations have also been guilty of egregious prejudice against everything Star Trek. (TV Land is an exception.) If only there were some way the various ST fan organizations could stand up and let them know how many of us are sick of the snubs.

grangeles said...

By the way, Capt. Future, you might be interested to know that one of the members of the USS Angeles (chapter of Starfleet Int'l) e-mailed your post to our chat group. It started some commentary and controversy. Doohan and Kelley were members of the Television, not Movie Academy; nontheless, most of us wish Trek would receive the appreciation it deserves by the industry.

Captain Future said...

Thanks for letting me know about the discussion. While Kelley and Doohan may not have technically been members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, the Oscars are seen worldwide as representing U.S. movies, and both were certainly part of the industry and its history. Restricting their tributes to members may be appropriate for a trade magazine, but not for a broadcast seen globally. That's how I see it.