Taxi Driver Writer Upset With Oscars Being "Too International"

Taxi Driver Writer Upset With Oscars Being
Image credit: Legion-Media

Paul Schrader urges the Oscars to "return to their origins."

With the end of the 95th Academy Awards, there was certainly a lot of news surrounding the ceremony.

With Everything, Everywhere, All at Once coming out of nowhere to dominate the ceremony, many viewers were pleasantly surprised by the turn of events.

However, not everyone seems to share the joy.

Paul Schrader, the screenwriter of Taxi Driver and Obsession, who was nominated for the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for First Reformed in 2019, slammed the Oscars in his Facebook post. He claims the ceremony has lost its American roots and become an international event.

"OSCARS SO NOT HOLLYWWOD [sic]. Diversifying membership, recalibrating how votes are counted, these changes have transformed the Hollywood Oscars to the International Oscars," said the screenwriter.

He elaborated on the subject by saying:

"I rather like the provincial origins of the Oscars: Hollywood coming together to celebrate its own. Most film-making nations--Britain, France, Gemany--have their national awards; the festivals have their awards. Why must Hollywood be Colpo Grosso?"

Schrader continued his tirade by claiming that the Oscars mean less and less every year, and if they want to save themselves, they need to return to their roots.

His commentary on the situation seems particularly odd given that both Everything Everywhere All at Once and The Whale, which won all the major nominations as well as several lesser ones, are produced by A24, an American independent entertainment company based in Manhattan.

At the same time, All Quiet on the Western Front, a German film, won only four awards, one for best international feature and three in technical categories.

His outrage seems highly suspicious given that Everything Everywhere All at Once features a predominantly Asian cast and is partly directed by an Asian-American filmmaker.

Fans were quick enough to connect the dots and accuse the screenwriter of racist behavior.

Paul Schrader is best known for his work on Taxi Driver (1976), Obsession (1976), American Gigolo (1980), Raging Bull (1980, co-written with Mardik Martin), and First Reformed (2017).