Steve Lunetta: Trump and the Oscars


And the Oscar goes to …” Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway for “The Biggest Flub in Awards Show History.”

Wait a minute. I read the card wrong. It really goes to PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm.

After the massive meltdown while presenting the Best Picture award this week, I could not help but laugh. All evening.

For an industry that takes itself so seriously and that believes its opinions should actually have any bearing on the direction our nation should go, the fiasco brought into focus one cold, hard truth. The Oscars are simply an award show for the entertainment industry.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Jimmy Kimmel’s jokes at the president’s expense, the repeated jabs at the new administration, and the overtly political acceptance speeches give the impression that those in entertainment believe their opinions matter more than anyone else’s – including the vast, unwashed masses in the fly-over states.

And then, the whole thing melts down in a glorious carnage of confusion, panic and ineptitude that showed the true absurdity of it all.

The wheels completely came off this solemn evening of Donald-bashing when one gentleman thought his tweeting activities were more important than handing out the all-important envelopes.

And the laughter in the White House could be heard on Rodeo Drive.

To follow that up, President Trump made an astounding speech to a joint session of Congress that surprised even the most die-hard liberals who claimed he was unhinged and reckless.

With a more toned-down approach, Trump articulated that he was simply doing what he promised in his campaign. Imagine, a politician who keeps his word and is faithful to his constituency.

The Democrats, in fairness, were polite and respectful. There were no impassioned outbursts and no “hair-on-fire” moments. It almost appeared to me that many congressional liberals are beginning to take a wait-and-see approach – as opposed to a fully oppositional stance.

In fact, there was a point during the speech in which Democrats gave him a standing ovation. Could it be that we are seeing the first signs of a move toward moderation and cooperation?

Of course, Trump is still talking about the border wall. But mixed into this idea were his thoughts on making an orderly and fair immigration system. It seems to me that if he accomplishes the latter, there would not be much need for the former.

His thoughts on trade were also telling. By placing the American worker first, we will restore industry and much of the middle class that was lost over the past 15-20 years. Trade policy must be designed so that, as Trump said, “it is a two-way street.”

Somehow, we got it into our minds that avoiding trade wars was the ultimate goal of American foreign policy. This has led to situations where huge trade barriers exist to American products being exported to other nations, but virtually none to imports from those same nations.

Trump mentioned the example of motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson which, for all intents and purposes, has given up trying to sell its products internationally.

Don’t tell me there are no buyers in foreign countries interested in such an iconic American brand. Harley could easily compete if the playing field were level. Our new administration believes this can happen.

Ironically, the motion picture industry itself could be helped by Trump’s policies. The CGI/special effects industry has been essentially eliminated in Los Angeles due to predatory tax incentive and rebate policies by Canada and Great Britain.

Many don’t know it, but the British give a roughly 25 percent rebate on CGI done in their country, leading to a boom of such companies in London. Not to be outdone, Canada gives tax incentives and rebates of up to 40-50 percent, resulting in the huge growth of CGI companies in British Columbia.

I would be comfortable with a 100 percent tariff on profits targeted at such predatory practices by our “friends.” Americans are either out of work or forced to move far from home by what amounts to “buying” of jobs from America with foreign taxpayer dollars.

Two can play at that game.

The entertainment industry would be wise to look at Trump as less of an enemy and more of a friend. While it may seem trendy and fashionable to bash a conservative president, in the end the home-grown entertainment industry would wind up profiting and employing more skilled professionals in Hollywood than ever before.

“And the Oscar goes to …” Donald Trump for bringing back policies that make America stronger.

Steve Lunetta is a resident of Santa Clarita and is still awaiting his first Academy Award nomination. Maybe next year? He can be reached at [email protected].

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