The Roots’ drummer and cultural critic Questlove was a first-time Oscar voter for the 2019 Academy Awards. On Wednesday, he detailed how the amount of time it takes to vote can lead to good films being overlooked.
After the nominations were announced earlier this week, several fans of the Mister Rogers documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, were bothered that the film was snubbed. Since its release, the movie has been celebrated and revered as a great doc.
Questlove used the film being left out of the documentary category as an example of why it happens.
“This is my take (from a first time Oscar voter) on why Mr Rogers got snubbed: 1st & foremost #WontYouBeMyNeighbor was hands down an incredible doc. Saw it 3 times & it was touching (onions and all),” the Philly native wrote on Instagram.
He continued, “Number 2: because of the staggering amount of time you have to devote to voting (they tell you at the beginning the average ballot completion time is 2 hours) a cat like me googling every last name and going over my movie notes (i keep a meticulous log on the movies i see just in case it’s wager time) chances are you will run out of steam by the letter “H” (that’s really being polite, i myself was eye rolling by the letter “E”).”
The musician explained that you get five votes on a ballot and most people usually do not research the films before voting. As a result, individuals vote downward and lose interest toward the bottom of the ballot.
Finally, Questlove said he suspects people assume who is going to win and believe their votes will not matter. He said he believed that to be true for the Mister Rogers doc and swapped his vote to the Netflix documentary Quincy, which is about music legend Quincy Jones.
He also urged his followers to watch Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and said he would learn from his mistake when voting in the future.
Comedian Chris Rock and Luke Cage star Mike Colter commented on the post aand listed with other films that were snubbed, including Rock’s 2009 documentary, Good Hair, and Time: The Kalief Browder Story, which was executive produced by JAY-Z.
The 91st annual Academy Awards show will air on Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.