Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

The irony behind the Oscar for Spotlight

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Feb 29, 2016

What's wrong with this picture?

- Spotlight has won the Oscar for Best Picture of 2015.

- The Oscar is presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). 

- Spotlight is the story of how, in 2002, the Boston Globe exposed sexual abuse of children in the Boston archdiocese.

- For that same year, 2002, the Oscar for Best Director went to Roman Polanski.

- But Polanski wasn't present to receive the Oscar, because he fled the US in 1978, to avoid sentencing after pleading guilty to sexual abuse of a child.

- When Polanski was announced as the Oscar winner, the AMPA gave him a standing ovation in absentia. The same organization has now honored Spotlight for its courageous exposure of sexual abuse. 

You might call that irony, or you might call it hypocrisy. Spotlight is a very good movie, but it tells only part of the real story.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: Leopardi - Mar. 01, 2016 6:11 PM ET USA

    The Church is very vulnerable here. I suggest that whatever the transgressions of others, we are in no position to point fingers lest we call more attention and condemnation (justifiably) upon ourselves (Catholic Church). Let's praise a movie well done with humility and even gratitude for the media help in uncovering this heinous abuse and leave it at that! It is the humbleness of our apology and the continued good works we do that will heal this situation best and quickest.

  • Posted by: feedback - Mar. 01, 2016 10:26 AM ET USA

    Thanks for shining a spotlight on the "Spotlight." The hypocrisy of Hollywood and its handlers is so stealthy manipulative that the majority of people don't even notice.

  • Posted by: MatJohn - Feb. 29, 2016 8:04 PM ET USA

    There is no amount of hyperbole sufficient to accurately describe the hubris and hypocrisy of Hollywood and its minions. Sexual molestation in that celebrity-infested community is rampant and covered up with shameless regularity. It has duly honored its comrade in cover up, the Globe, with as Oscar for its Spotlight film. The rest of the story has disappeared with Paul Harvey.