Will the Oscars boycott The King's Speech?

Published: January 24th 2011
in Culture » Movies

Colin Firth in The King's Speech

The Oscar nominations are being announced tomorrow morning at 8:30am. Is it really possible that Producer’s Guild Award winner (and rumored Oscar hopeful) The King’s Speech could be completely overlooked?


The King’s Speech follows the story of King George VI- a man who never wished to be King, and had trouble with his confidence and public speech as he had an uncontrollable stammer. The question has become; is it a heartfelt salute to an awkward, yet decent monarch who led his country into war, or a candy coated portrait of a manipulative anti-semite?


Hollywood blogger Scott Feinberg cites an anonymous email, supposedly from an Academy member, which claims the picture ignores George VI’s role in preventing Jewish refugees from fleeing Nazi Germany.


"I'm an Academy member and there are a LOT of us who won't vote for The King's Speech for this reason," the email reads.


Feinberg speculates that the email may be part of “an orchestrated smear campaign”. Critics claim that George VI indirectly conspired with Hitler to prevent Jews from reaching Palestine, which at the time was under British mandate. In 1939, the king reported to have instructed foreign secretary Lord Halifax to “encourage the German government to check the unauthorized emigration of Jews”.


The King’s Speech’s many supporters argue that the film was written by David Seidler, a Jewish writer whose grandparents died in the Holocaust. They could also point out that, in terms of Nazi sympathies, George VI had absolutely nothing on his predecessor, Edward VIII. King Edward VIII visited Hitler in Berlin and believed German fascism was a necessary and solid solution to the evils of communism.


Tomorrow morning, we will see if the members of the Academy decide to boycott The King’s Speech, or if they’ll realize that this is a fictional movie with brilliant performances that isn’t attempting to make a religious or political statement.

Related articles: (Oscars, Academy Awards, Kings Speech, Colin Firth, Nazi)

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