Why Ben Affleck must return 2013 Best Picture Oscar statuette

In Canada, there used to exist a company that produced Canadian Literature. When I first wrote Mack Dunstan’s Inferno I pitched it to that very company, several times.

I even approached them through Canadian agents and an entertainment lawyer to pitch the manuscript to Key Porter. They rejected Mack Dunstan’s Inferno each, all the while claiming its earlier name, Charlton Heston’s Inferno, would ignite a lawsuit.

Key Porter, however, continued to publish but then was shuttered in September 2011.  Its last book was Rebecca Eckler’s The Lucky Sperm Club.  A book like Mack Dunstan’s Inferno would have saved Key Porter and the 300 jobs that went with it. Did Danielle Steel and Jackie Collins, who built careers putting lust on the bookshelves ever shut down the industry that made them?

Why would I writer this? The film Argo won best picture in the 2013 Academy Awards. This movie, however, skewed the facts of history. The American Academy Awards is the last bastion for integrity in American filmmaking. All the best and brightest of writers, directors, and actors, producers, and other talented individuals, all vying for an Oscar statuette.  By awarding Ben Affleck best picture for his work on Argo, the reputation for the Oscars has been severely damaged. Over a billion people from around the world watch this event. They view it to witness and celebrate the American reputation for filmmaking on display. The American World Series, Super Bowl, NBA championship, and the NHL Stanly Cup championship will never get that viewership and respect combined worldwide.

Ben Affleck skewed the historical facts in Argo. If Ben Affleck wants to write history, he needs to get his facts write. Otherwise, this film should be listed in the fantasy genre. By the way, did Ben Affleck get the memo that Iran will soon have the bomb? Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the leader of Iran, is set to reprise Peter Sellers roles from Dr. Strangelove. With the bomb, President Ahmadinejad can do just that and wear it in Gucci and look as cool as Ben Affleck did on Oscar night. There is clearly a shift in the world power base under way when it comes to the emerging market.  When they award an A list actor/ director Ben Affleck for reinventing history to tell a historical piece, they are sending a horrifying message to every filmmaker out there- don’t learn from the past, reinvent history, and you will make a shit load of money in the process!

The reputation for the publishing industry was damaged when they printed the Lucky Sperm Club and Key Porter is now gone. For the Oscars after Argo, it is the same deal. You damage the reputation for the Oscars, the industry will leave for one of those emerging markets, where the right caliber of individual will be found to tell a story and be that storyteller that he/she should and can be. To destroy the reputation of the Oscars, you’ll destroy the very system that made the super stars. Remember how the Vatican handled the child sex abuse cases? The Catholic Church’s brand name was wrecked and will never recover. Why? People will put their money elsewhere. Imagine the job losses there when they shutter churches.  The only way to correct the scandal of rewarding Argo is for Ben Affleck to surrender the 2013 Oscar statuette and reward it to a more deserving storyteller. If Key Porter can leave Canada, Hollywood could do the same in California. Imagine the job loss there. Only then, Ben Affleck would have the available time to pursue his passion of running and being elected to the American Senate. If you still don’t believe this argument, then enjoy the selection process that will involve the next pontiff. The same people who think they are too big for the system always end up destroying it. Ben Affleck, you must do the honorable thing and return the 2013 Oscar statuette for best picture. If not, the present Academy Awards won’t be around for the next generation of filmmakers.

Paul Collins

Author of

Mack Dunstan’s Inferno/ Mystery of Everyman’s Way 

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