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Cecil B. DeMille Award snubs women and minorities again

November 9, 2010 |  1:26 pm

Golden globe up closeWhy does the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. continue to snub women and minorities when bestowing its Cecil B. DeMille Award? When it was announced Tuesday that Robert De Niro will receive the honorary prize at the Golden Globes ceremony on Jan. 16, many of us award-watchers shrugged, thinking: "Great. Another old white guy!"

Granted, De Niro, 67, deserves the trophy, which is bestowed upon "talented individuals who have made an incredible impact on the world of entertainment," according to HFPA guidelines. However, only one of the past 58 recipients has been African American:  Sidney Poitier (1982, age 54). None has been Asian American. It's been more than a decade since a woman was hailed.

Recent recipients include Martin Scorsese (2010, age 67), Steven Spielberg (2009; he was to receive the award in 2008 but it was postponed because of the writers' strike), Warren Beatty (2007, age 69), Anthony Hopkins (2006, age 68), Robin Williams (2005, age 53), Michael Douglas (2004, age 59), Gene Hackman (2003, age 72), Harrison Ford (2002, age 59), Al Pacino (2001, age 60), and Barbra Streisand (2000, age 57).

Isn't an organization like the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. supposed to be sensitive to the diversity of people culturally, etc.?

Here are African Americans who come to mind as being snubbed this year: Bill Cosby, Morgan Freeman, Whoopi Goldberg, Samuel L. Jackson, James Earl Jones, Spike Lee, Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Oprah Winfrey.

Here are women snubbed: Julie Andrews, Carol Burnett, Julie Christie, Glenn Close, Judi Dench, Sally Field, Jane Fonda, Jodie Foster, Diane Keaton, Angela Lansbury, Liza Minnelli, Helen Mirren, Mary Tyler Moore, Vanessa Redgrave, Julia Roberts, Sissy Spacek, Maggie Smith and Betty White.

Tom O'Neil

Photo: Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.